In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we report as Shop Direct unveils the first completed phase of a new automated warehouse that it says will cut delivery and processing times and enable a midnight cut-off for next-day delivery. It’s one example of a retailer that’s investing in order to deliver customers the service that they want, and it’s one that’s likely to pay off. Games Workshop today also says putting the customer at the heart of its business has resulted in its best financial year yet, while Amazon has reported healthy sales growth after a quarter in which it invested in areas including fast delivery, convenience, voice commerce and more. Both show that investing to improve both customer experience and customer service are paying off for them as a route both to attracting and to retaining shoppers.
Sports Direct, meanwhile, says in a very frank set of full-year results that its acquisition of House of Fraser was part of its plan to elevate its retail approach through premium stores. While it doesn’t seem to have worked in terms of attracting the supply of products that it wanted, and while chief executive Mike Ashley appears to regret the acquisition, the retailer does say that the overall approach has helped its Sports Direct brand to prosper.
Elsewhere, Hammerson says it’s seeing more consumer brands and aspirational fashion retailers taking space in its shopping centres, while the presence of high street fashion retailers is down sharply - likely to be as shoppers become more willing to buy online. Mothercare, meanwhile, says its move to close stores has resulted in its sales falling less quickly but that there’s still work to be done.
Today’s guest comment comes from Teresa Del Re of DS Smith, who considers some innovative approaches that ecommerce retailers are taking to reducing the size of their packaging.