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From Amazon to DPD: how customer demand is shaping retail

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting in a week in which announcements from retailers from Carpetright, Argos and DPD have shown clearly how retail is being reshaped – as a result of changing customer behaviour. 

Carpetright is looking to reduce its store numbers by up to 92 as it looks to rightsize its estate in a world where online retail is now more important, a move that seems likely to lead to job losses.  

But stores remain important to traders such as Amazon, which is slowly but steadily acquiring stores in the US and looks likely to do so in the UK. Its model stems from customers’ desire to touch and feel items before they buy, as well as from their desire for “immediacy” in their purchases.

Meanwhile, DPD this week said it was hiring 700 new staff – and expects to take on up to 1,000 this year – as shoppers more often opt for next-day delivery. Argos is hiring too – taking on 150 new tech staff as it looks to boost its ranks, while, in related news, John Lewis is expanding its technology investments.

Boohoo shows what works in practice through its fast sales growth, which comes alongside international and social media expansion.

Looking to the future, research shows that customers say augmented reality helps their shopping experience, suggesting that this technology could be set for wide uptake.

Today’s guest comment comes from Louise Richardson of River Island, who considers the global growth of menswear, online and off.


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