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EDITORIAL UK retailers mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II; Asos and Gear4music scale back profit forecasts amid the cost-of-living crisis

Banners at Portobello Road market celebrated the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in June. Image: chrisdorney/

Today’s InternetRetailing newsletter reflects the ways that many retailers are paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II following her death, in ways from shutting shops for the day to stopping their clock and through messages and images on their retail websites. Retail and industry bodies have issued their own tributes. In his, CBI director-general Tony Danker says that her death comes at a difficult moment for the country and that country’s response to be to work to build a better future. 

This moment of reflection comes indeed at a time of many challenges, first among them a cost-of-living crisis driven by inflation, linked to the energy crisis – to which the first details of a solution were unveiled earlier in the week. Today Asos and Gear4music both issued trading statements that showed them scaling back their profit expectations at a time when shoppers are holding back on buying. Both have seen sales dip in the final month of the summer. Asos says that shoppers bought in the summer months of June and July but held back from buying as the autumn and winter approached, in August. Gear4music chief executive Andrew Wass says that its own warning comes at a time when it’s not clear when either consumer sentiment or macroeconomic conditions will improve.

Elsewhere, we’re reporting as Primark says its click and collect trial will launch in the run-up to Christmas. It expects the new service will bring more customers into store. The update also shows parent company Associated British Foods (ABF) set out its plans for Primark to absorb the costs of inflation into next year and avoid further price rises to retain its position of everyday affordability.

Meanwhile, a Ketch study suggests that customers are willing to share some personal information  – as long as they understand the value for them in doing so

In today’s guest comment, Matthias Göhler of Zendesk considers customer service in the metaverse. 

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