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From the editor – December 2017

As this InternetRetailing Operations & Logistics Performance Dimension Report is published, retailers are making final preparations for the annual stress test that is Black Friday. Late November – and the Black Friday period of frantic discounting has now extended to last for well over a week – has over recent years become the time of year that puts all fulfilment operations through their paces. It’s important traders get it right because for many, this is the make or break season. Indeed, many have been planning since January on ensuring that they get it right.

In previous years, it’s proved to be at this time of year that we see the biggest changes in the way that shoppers buy – and how they want to take delivery of their purchases. When customers transact at scale, their changing behaviour becomes more stark. In years gone by, we’ve seen the shift towards using click and collect that emerged as a clear trend in post-Christmas trading updates from retailers, including the grocers. We’ve also seen the rise in demand for fast, next-day delivery and other premium services that come into their own over the busy Christmas ordering period.

These are all trends and changes that we reflect in this report, as we analyse the delivery, collection and returns promises that retailers are making to their customers. Across the pages of this report, we’ll see how leaders in this Dimension are deploying logistics services to give shoppers the convenient and joined-up services that they demand. We also see how day-to-day experience of shoppers buying from the Top500 retailers is still some way behind that reality. We’re aiming to tell the story of how retailers are approaching the task of giving their customers the experience that they want, from placing the order, to taking delivery and beyond.

Our research is aided by the generous input of our InternetRetailing Knowledge Partners, as well as by feedback from our readers. We’re always keen to hear what you think about both this report and the wider series of IRUK Top500 reports as we start to look ahead to 2018. Whether that’s on the metrics that we use to evaluate each area, from Operations & Logistics to Strategy & Innovation, Merchandising, Brand Engagement, Mobile & Cross-channel and The Customer, or broader responses to this and the IREU Top500 series. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Ian Jindal



Don’t forget that this Operations & Logistics Dimension Report forms part of our wider series analysing the performance of UK retailers.

Reports each year that focus on:

Strategy & Innovation

The Customer

Brand Engagement

Mobile & Cross-channel


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