EDITORIAL How Ocado, Laura Ashley and Hotter Shoes are looking to collaboration as a route to growth

Image courtesy of Hotter

Image courtesy of Hotter

In today’s InternetRetailing, we’re reporting on how a range of brands and retailers are now working together to create new business opportunities, whether online or in-store. The owners of Laura Ashley, Hotter Shoes and Ocado have all judged that the route to growth is to collaborate in order to find new ways to sell – and new customers to sell to.

Ocado and Groupe Casino are working together to offer logistics services to all grocery retailers operating in France. The two say their existing operations in the Ile de France have set the bar high – along with customer expectations in the market. At the same time, Ocado is to add Octopia marketplace functionality to the Ocado Smart Platform, enabling it to offer its partners marketplace options. 

Hotter Shoes owner the Unbound Group says its new platform aimed at over-55 women will launch next month, and that it has already signed up 14 partner brands to sell on the site. The brands were chosen for their relevancy and desirability for its 4.6m customers, who it says represent 30% of its target demographic. While the new platform enables other brands to reach Hotter’s customers, the group is also finding new ways to reach its demographic – and is now selling through two garden centres. 

And Laura Ashley is working with Mamas & Papas on a new design collaboration to mark its 70th anniversary that is an example of Laura Ashley’s recent strategy of expanding as a brand through partnerships and licensing. 

Elsewhere, we report as Cath Kidston puts the focus on growth under new owners. The brand, known for its prints, says it expects new investment in ecommerce as it expands as a digital-first retailer under the ownership of Hilco Capital. 

Boots’ parent company says its online business is now twice its pre-Covid size in a third-quarter update that comes as Walgreens Boots Alliance decides not to sell the health and beauty retailer in the current market and instead focus on growth. 

In today’s guest comment, Radim Jung of Inventoro.com makes the case for more effective discounting. 

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