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Looking to the future of retail

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we report as the future of retail gets that bit closer. We’re covering the opening of John Lewis’ first smart home department, which presents products from internet-ordering fridges to ovens that can be started from the office in a domestic context, where the emphasis is on demystifying and explaining futuristic technologies. It’s this approach, rather than the products it sells, that seems a pivotal moment in the mass-market take-up of these technologies, since it starts to move the goods from science fiction to every day fact. Ultimately, this is what retailers do – and this is a demonstration of how they do it across channels.

The news comes in a week that we’re also mapping a further shift from store to online spending. Retailers from M&S and Dunelm to Bonmarché report flat or falling in-store sales, while online provides the only source of growth. The effect is perhaps most marked at Dunelm, where ecommerce sales were up by more than a quarter, but like-for-like store sales fell by 0.8% in the full year. It’s part of a wider trend in retail, where mobile is driving most of the growth, thanks to consumer shift towards convenience and choice in the way they buy.

Today’s IRX 2016 preview looks at the Chinese technology and services companies exhibiting in the Jiangsu Pavilion, while our guest comment comes from Thomas Jeanjean, managing director Europe, mid market, at Criteo, who considers strategies to combat the dropped basket.

IRX 2016

IRX 2016 will take place on April 27 and 28 2016 at IRX 2016, at Birmingham’s NEC. Find out more here. Register to visit the show for free here.

Our research

The latest InternetRetailing research, the IRUK Top500 2016, is now available to download. Visit the IRUK Top500 section of the website to find out more.

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