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EDITORIAL The latest on peak trading, Superdrug’s Andrew Cobb on marketplaces; PLUS latest from Hotel Chocolat and Pandora

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we have the latest updates on how this year’s peak trading season is developing – including the insight that shoppers seem to have bought more – not less – during England’s World Cup last Friday. 

We also report as Pandora sets its sights on delivering a fully omnichannel customer experience by 2026. The Danish jewellery retailer is shifting to SAP technology, including a cloud-based ERP, as says that as a result it will be able to offer its customers a fully omnichannel experience, in which they can move seamlessly between online and the store in the course of their research and purchase, no matter where they are in the world. The move is part of the Danish jewellery brand’s Phoenix strategy, built around the four pillars of brand, design, personalisation and core markets, as it aims to become the largest and most desirable brand in its affordable jewellery market. 

Hotel Chocolat, meanwhile, is focusing on quality over quantity, as it looks to move away from discounting, towards being an affordable luxury for its customers – and back into profit. In a similar vein the chocolate manufacturing brand is rethinking its international strategy after sales grew quickly, but unprofitably. 

In an interview with Superdrug IT director Andrew Cobb, we’ve asked the key questions about how – and why – retailers launch their own marketplaces. Such an approach, says Cobb, lends itself to the “naturally interesting” products that it sells as a health, beauty and wellness retailer. 

We also report as Next joins forces with Joules founder Tom Joule to buy the fashion and lifestyle retailer out of administration for £34m in cash. The retailer plans to continue operating about 100 of Joules’ estate of 124 shops, and from early 2024, Joules’ websites and online operations –  in the UK and internationally – will be operated by Next through its Total Platform. Such a move had already been discussed during the summer, but Next subsequently said it had no room to operate further ecommerce businesses until it had more capacity. It now aims to start selling Joules via its platforms in early 2024. 

In today’s guest comment, Kim Burgess of Feefo considers the role of customer loyalty in revitalising ecommerce

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