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Stores + online = success in today’s retail

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we report how shops came storming back into the headlines in the week that Vodafone and Marks & Spencer announced plans to open 400 stores between them, including 250 stores for M&S around the world and 150 stores for Vodafone.

The news came as a salutory report from reminded retailers that stores still remain shoppers’ preferred sales channel, and a study from Deloitte showed that high streets are rising from the ashes of high profile recession administrations.

Balancing our focus on shops, however, is a reminder that pureplay also has a very important part in all of this. We also report news of fast sales growth from pureplay Asos, set to turn over £1bn this year and setting its sights on £2.5bn thereafter, and we show how the balance in a multichannel business can easily tip in favour of onnline, with the report that almost 70% of Domino’s UK pizzas are now ordered online.

The conclusion we draw is that shops and online are both important. Ultimately the consumer will buy in the way that they want, when they want. While many prefer to buy pizzas online – and through their mobile devices, at that – many prefer to go to the store for their groceries. And if the high street is convenient, they’ll head there. If not, they’ll drop in to retail at the point that most suits them. The market is not seeing a uniform shift towards digital shopping, but one that alters and varies depending on who is buying and what they’re buying. Retailers will do well to plan their strategies accordingly.

Today’s guest comment, from John Saxon of Momentum, weighs up one angle of how retailers can handle that convergence, as they bring digital into the store. And our story on dunnhumby’s acquisition of Sociomatic Labs also puts the focus on how retailers will use big data to personalise in the future.

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