In a challenging and competitive market, retailers of all kinds are looking at how they can improve the way they do business. For online giant Amazon, the focus has always been on an obsession with giving the customer what they want, and that remains the same today, says Amazon UK country chair Doug Gurr in an interview taken from the recent RXUK Top500 research.
Today we report as Asda illustrates the nature of the challenge with fourth quarter results that show a 1.3% fall in like-for-like sales and as Shoe Zone adds its voice to the growing demands for business rates reform, warning that the current maths adds up to store closures.
The challenges are clear. But fresh ideas are emerging that aim to give customers ever-more convenient retail experiences. NearSt, for example, shows the effect its technology is having in showing shoppers that they can buy what they need just around the corner - and wins fresh investment to take its technology to more customers.
Meanwhile, Loop prepares to launch a service that takes inspiration from the growing demand for reusable packaging and ecommerce buying, and applies that to brands.
Elsewhere we report as the BRC sets out its vision of an EU trade deal that works for shoppers – and retailers and as Laura Ashley discusses its funding as its sales fall in that challenging retail market.
In today’s guest comment, Mike Austin of Fresh Relevance explores how to avoid four common mistakes when running personalisation at scale.