In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reporting on a Black Friday that is set to be important for many UK retailers. The predictions have been of slow online trade and falling store footfall, in a climate of Brexit uncertainty and amid a general election campaign. But now that the day has arrived, is trade starting to take off at last? We cover the main points in our Black Friday lowdown.
We also have an interview with Jennifer North, Hobbycraft’s head of digital experience. Her sense is that this peak trading period has been a waiting game since it falls later than in previous years, but she’s confident that sales will be ahead of last year both at her website and in the wider market.
Today, we’re also reporting as Fortnum & Mason says that looking beyond the challenging UK market has helped it to a double-digit lift in sales for the seventh year in a row. Ocado unveils a Japanese deal, and announces its first UK mini fulfilment centre: this is part of its aim of achieving a network effect in its logistics chain. And we have news that UK business online sales – that is to say ecommerce sales not just by retailers – grew at their fastest rate in 2018.
In today’s guest comment, Gail Cohen, director general of the UK Gift Card and Voucher Association, explores gift cards’ enduring popularity and how retailers can best use them.
From our European coverage, we report as Migros shutters its social shopping experiment.