In today’s InternetRetailing we report as retailers are discounting hard even as the non-essential retail sector emerges from lockdown. For while most stores are now open, and footfall has improved compared to the lockdown, the figures suggest that visitor numbers are, nonetheless, lower than they were at this time last year. IMRG figures out today show that online sales rose sharply and particularly at multichannel retailers even as stores reopened. It’s unsurprising that retailers are turning to heavy discounting in order to clear stock and generate cash. Today a new study from LovetheSales.com shows how far that discounting goes, and we take a look at how Elite retailers are approaching sales online.
Elsewhere we report on how retailers are using digital technology to get closer to their customers. Waitrose is growing its online delivery capacity with a new fulfilment centre. It says that by the end of this year it expects to be able to fulfil four times as many orders in the capital as it did at the start. Meanwhile, Lloyds Pharmacy has teamed up with Deliveroo to offer delivery of over-the-counter medicines within 30 minutes. Retailers and brands are moving into a what Barclaycards Payments suggests is a new category, the so-called ‘insperience’ economy, which it believes is worth as much as £168m a year.
Meanwhile, in today’s guest comment, Philippe Corrot of Mirakl considers how e-grocery has built a winning UK strategy despite – and during – Covid-19. All of this suggests that necessity is breeding innovation in new ways. An interesting aspect of many of these stories is the way in which retailers are now working closely with new partners to deliver sales in new and imaginative ways. We expect to see that continue as retailers adapt to fast-changing customer behaviour – which we map through research from the ONS, BRC, Forrester as well as the IMRG and RetailX.