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Editors’ comment – February 2018

For our second InternetRetailing Brand Index, we again put the focus on direct-selling brands. These are businesses that sell direct to customers and also supply their goods via the wholesale market.

As part of our ongoing research for the IREU Top500, our performance-based ranking of Europe’s top retailers, we have been looking at how these direct-selling brands are both shaping and reacting to a changing market. We’ve done this across six Performance Dimensions in order to establish what works, in areas of retail craft ranging from Strategy & Innovation to Operations & Logistics.

First, though, we set the context in our strategic overview , in which Chloe Rigby, explores the tensions between the typical strengths of brands, their authenticity and standardised offering across territories, and their typical weaknesses, notably potential difficulties with localisation and personalisation. We set out our pan-European findings by listing the biggest and best brands and illustrating their geographical spread in heatmaps (download to view).

We also investigate two Elite brands – Adidas and Clarks – through case studies. Both are fascinating for being brands with a rich heritage, yet which continue to reinvent themselves in order to prosper in the 21st century.

Our Knowledge Partners have once again been generous in contributing their expertise and insights. We’d like to thank website assessment company BuiltWith , customer experience management specialists Clarabridge , app developer Poq , email experts Return Path , web traffic monitoring company Similar Web and NCC Group , which, among other services, offers website monitoring and consultancy services to retailers.

As always, we welcome your thoughts on new areas of research as we add to our primary data and analysis on retail and brand commerce in the UK and across Europe. Please email: and

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