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With over 250,000 retail businesses in the UK we can indeed be said to be a nation of shopkeepers – and indeed shoppers. This retailing capability, in one of the most competitive and demanding in the world, has seen UK retailers extend globally, develop their channels and improve their offerings to connect repeatedly, profitably and at scale with their customers’ wallets. This capability does not stand alone, nor emerge fully-formed. Retail is a dynamic and richly-interconnected ecosystem of retailers, expert and knowledgeable suppliers, products, brands and talented people.

At InternetRetailing we’ve been mapping these intersections since 2005 and have decided that we will launch IRDX – the InternetRetailing Top 500 Index – that will:

  • examine the dimensions of performance within multichannel retail
  • question the extent to which these dimensions are leading indicators of success
  • extract learnings and good practice insights
  • connect the capabilities of the suppliers and key staff within the Index.

The ‘footprint’ report is the first part of the rollout, and notes (without ranking) those retailers whose footprint in the UK is the largest and who will form the basis for our research into how we should rank them according to their multichannel capability and performance.

Following this report we will reveal in July the 2014 Procurement Guide which will showcase the suppliers to these 500. The culmination of the 2014 research will be the ranked Top500 list, unveiled at the ninth annual InternetRetailing Conference in October.

It’s my pleasure to thank our research team, readers, the supplier community and advisors for their contribution thus far to the ecosystem research. This is going to be a major part of our activities and I invite you to share your views, ideas and critique with me at or via

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