EDITORIAL How retailers from Debenhams and Amazon to Shoe Zone and Forever 21 are responding to change

Retailers across Europe are planning to grow in 2021 (Image: Fotolia)

Retailers across Europe are planning to grow in 2021 (Image: Fotolia)

Retailers are thinking hard about how they do business in a world where shoppers are taking more of their business online. And as a result they’re focusing on business transformation, on ensuring their digital and multichannel strategies work, they’re moving out of unprofitable parts of their businesses and they’re investing too – in areas from robotics to renewable energy.

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we report as Debenhams appoints a new chairman to help guide its ongoing transformation, Forever 21’s three UK stores embark on closing down sales, as Amazon reports a fall in third-quarter profits – but a major investment in renewable energy in the UK –  and as Shoe Zone says its digital and big box strategies helped it to grow sales – though by less than an estimated 1% – in its latest full year.

We report on research that suggests robots could be set to take more than half a million retail jobs in the next five years – although it also suggests that new and better jobs could be created to replace them. 

Today’s guest comment comes from Richard Downs of Applause, who argues that UK fashion retailers are struggling online as well as on the high street – and considers why that might be.  

Image: Fotolia

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