EDITORIAL Working out retail solutions to far-reaching problems

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we report on how retailers and related industries are working to find ways they can help to solve some of the biggest issues that face us today.

Sainsbury’s today says it is committed to spending £1bn to reduce its net emissions to zero by 2040. It’s a step that acknowledges the need to respond to climate change in the retail industry and beyond. We also report today as Magway says it’s won more than £1.2m in crowdfunding to take its plans for a network of pipes funnelling online deliveries to their destinations. The funding, 45% of which was raised from small investors aged between 18 and 30, will now take the scheme to the pilot stage.

Meanwhile, the high street is facing its own problems, with job losses put at 10,000 by the Centre for Retail Research so far this year. At the same time, retail sales are shifting further online, and GlobalData predicts that 19.8% of sales will take place over the internet by 2024. Althus Partners has surveyed commercial property operators and finds that they are looking forward to the advent of 5G to solve some of the problems that the high street faces, since it will enable stores to get rid of queues, organise stock more efficiently and introduce new technologies including augmented and virtual reality.

REPL has done its own analysis and says whatever the solution is to the high street crisis, short-term discounting is not it

David Gore of BJSS has been to NRF and in today’s guest analysis says that this year the industry has dialled back on the sexy stuff – experiences and robots – and is focusing once more on understanding the customer and getting the basics right.

In today’s guest comment, Mylo Portas of Peak asks how retailers are using AI to ensure customers get the beauty products they want, when they want them.

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