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Internet retailing takes centre stage as Alibaba launches on the NYSE

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Today’s InternetRetailing newsletter comes on the day that Alibaba is set to launch on the New York Stock Exchange, in what’s expected to be the biggest flotation ever seen. It’s a sign of how far ecommerce has progressed that a pureplay retailer is set to take that title in 2014. The company is aset to raise $21.8bn (£13.3bn), with shares priced at $68, valuing it at around $167.6bn (£101.97bn): this is evidence, we’d argue, of a new maturity not only among ecommerce companies but among the investors who now see more clearly how important internet retailing is to all our lives. Alibaba, let’s not forget, has grown from a start-up in a one-bedroomed apartment, and today it dwarfs its competitors. It’s a sign both of how important ecommerce has become and of how critical the Chinese market will soon be to retailers of all countries.

Indeed, today’s newsletter is full of stories of innovation and growth in the multichannel and pureplay retail industry. We report on August’s online retail growth figures, on Amazon’s move to launch airport lockers, and on the role online has played in helping JD Sports Fashion to lift turnover and profits.

We’ve news of innovation, with Oasis’ launch of visual search. Innovation also figures in today’s interview with Robin Phillips of Waitrose, ahead of IRC 2014. We’ve also spoken to Darek Solowski of ahead of a first CEE ecommerce trade show, to be held in Warsaw, Poland.

Today’s guest comment comes from Paul Doble, of DX, with a timely look ahead to Christmas, who considers how retailers can avoid over-promising and under-delivering.

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Our conference

Our next big event is the Internet Retailing Conference (IRC 2014), to be held on October 14 at the Novotel, Hammersmith, London. Keynote speakers confirmed so far include Mark Lewis, online director, John Lewis, Andy Harding, executive director, multichannel at House of Fraser, and Jérôme Cochet, senior vice president sales at Zalando. The conference takes the theme of Re-foundation, and will be keynoted by retailers who have led transformation within their business as their product sector or the retail landscape have evolved. Find out more at

Catch-up on IRX 2014

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