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EDITORIAL How M&S, Ted Baker and Matalan are responding to retail’s ‘biggest ever challenge’

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Image: Matalan/PR Shots
Image: Matalan/PR Shots
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EDITORIAL How M&S, Ted Baker and Matalan are responding to retail’s ‘biggest ever challenge’

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we report as retailers speed up plans to reshape their businesses in the light of the continued shift from store to online retailing. Ted Baker and Marks & Spencer are both to cut jobs as they look to create more agile, multichannel teams in the face of what Matalan today described as the “biggest challenge ever faced by the sector”.

 

These retailers are now focusing resources on online businesses that saw fast growth during and after the Covid-19 lockdown but are still not big enough to make up for sales lost through stores. While Ted Baker’s ecommerce sales rose by a third to account for almost 70% of retail sales as its stores began to emerge from lockdown, that was not enough to make up for a steep drop in sales via its stores. Matalan is also clear that its online business is not large enough to compensate for the drop in sales that it saw via its stores, while M&S says that its store-based teams are well placed to provide a new level of agile customer service – and it is consulting its central operations teams on redundancies.

 

Other businesses too are moving quickly to expand their online and multichannel capacity. Hermes is investing £100m to expand its UK operations to meet new levels of online demand post-lockdown, while the Federation of Independent Retailers has worked with Jisp and Scandit to create a new contact-free app that will make it easier for shoppers to use digital in its stores.

 

In today’s guest comment, Pete Wickes of Worldpay discusses omnichannel retail and the future of shopping.

 

And we also report as UK fashion retailers add their voice to those of MPs and NGOs to call for UK garment factories in their supply chains to be licensed. Doing so, they say, would ensure that workers are both safe and well-paid, and enable many retailers to bring more of their production back to the UK.

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