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EDITORIAL Retail industry warns of spending slowdown

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we report as the British Retail Consortium warns that economic uncertainty could further hit the retail industry, and says that the Government must take action in order to end wider economic uncertainty. It seems it’s that uncertainty that has caused a 0.2% estimated contraction in GDP, according to the ONS. It’s the result first of stockpiling in the first quarter, before the original March 29 Brexit deadline – and then using up those stockpiles in the second quarter. But that uncertainty, now further fuelled by the fear of recession, could well cause shoppers to hold off spending, says the BRC, which is calling on the Government to look again at policies including those around business rates. 

Amazon is sending inspectors to China to look into reports that children have worked overtime and nights to make its Alexa-enabled devices, providing a salutary reminder to all retailers of the importance of taking responsibility for global supply chains. 

We also report as AO launches a mobile phone division, that it promises will be a gamechanger to the way phones are sold in the UK, and as Farfetch sees signs that the luxury industry is moving towards marketplaces, such as its own, while decreasing the amount it sells via wholesale channels. The technology company says it’s well positioned, following an acquisition, to share in the growth of luxury online spending that it expects to see in coming years.

In today’s interview ahead of IRC 2019 we hear from Robin Phillips of Watch Shop on expanding into new markets. Phillips discusses the challenges, opportunities and useful tactics for international expansion. Finally, today’s guest comment comes from Anshuman Singh of Mindtree Europe, who argues that businesses must use technology to elevate the consumer journey in a digital era.

Image: InternetRetailing Media/Paul Skeldon

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