Six leading UK online retailers have joined forces to form the UK Digital Business Association, in a move that shows how powerful online pureplays now are and how they are seeing themselves as the driver of the post-pandemic recovery.
The founders – Asos, Boohoo, Ocado, AO World, Gymshark and THG – plan to spearhead retail recovery and boost the wider economy as the pandemic wanes, looking to grow the industry by a £1bn a year and adding up to 10,000 new jobs in the sector.
“Our membership has helped underpin the UK as the most advanced e-commerce market in Europe,” UKDBA founder Iain McDonald said. “The British online industry is one of the UK’s greatest success stories and the UKDBA is here to champion our members, their customers’ interests, providing them a voice in a rapidly evolving world.”
According to a Grant Thornton study, online sales in 2019 increased by more than 285% to £ 17.3 billion, while members increased by 40.8% between 2016 and 2019. The formation of the new body is an important milestone for the UK retail industry. In the UK retail industry, the move to online has accelerated at a relentless and brutal pace over the past year, with many casualties.
The newly established trade association hopes to welcome new members in the coming months and will support the transition of physical retailers online while providing voice to members. It states that its founding members plan to invest more than £1bn in their UK-based businesses in 2021. They also saw an increase of 40.8% in employee numbers between 2016-19, with around 10,000 further jobs expected to be added this year.