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EDITORIAL Uniqlo, Dunelm, Next and more on how retail strategies are evolving

Dunelm is among the retailers that are seeing more of their sales take place. Image courtesy of Dunelm

Dunelm is among the retailers that are seeing more of their sales take place. Image courtesy of Dunelm

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting as retailers and brands continue to evolve their strategies in the light of how shoppers now want to buy at a time when the pandemic has brought enormous change.

Dunelm says more than a third of its sales remain online, a year on from the UK’s third Covid-19 lockdown. While fewer of the homewares retailer’s sales are now online than at the height of the lockdown, the fact that such a large proportion remains online says a great deal about how shoppers now prefer to buy, and how that has changed as a result of the pandemic.

Next chief executive Simon Wolfson has said that the pandemic brought about a huge change to the structure of retail. As a result, he says, the business he runs is changing from retailer to online aggregator of brands – a status that’s underlined by the news that Next has teamed up with Davidson Kempner Capital Management to buy baby and childrenswear brand JoJo Maman Bébé.

Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing, meanwhile, says that it’s investing in multichannel retailing – in part as a way of improving product availability, at a time when it has been affected by shortages, particularly in its Japanese market.

We have an interview with Cox & Cox ecommerce director Aynsley Peet, who will be taking part in a RetailX roundtable on digital leaders in the furniture industry next month – and there’s an invitation for others to take part.

And we’re exploring what the evolution of fast and ultra-fast delivery says about how shoppers now want to buy – and how retailers are teaming up with partners in order to meet that demand – in a piece from the 2022 DeliveryX Europe Top500 report.

Today’s guest comment comes from Yan Ketelers of Venly, who considers what the growing popularity of NFTs says about the future of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies.

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