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What Hotel Chocolat, Card Factory, Aldi and ScS are learning from lockdown

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reporting as retailers from Hotel Chocolat and Card Factory to Aldi and ScS report on what they are learning from lockdown – and the wider Covid-19 experience.

For Hotel Chocolat the lessons are around changing customer behaviour, as shoppers moved online fast during lockdown and still tend to buy online now. It’s also thinking about how to win and reward loyal shoppers and the changing role of its shops as footfall and impulse buys fall at some sites, particularly in London. 

The role of the shop and the number of visitors it gets is a concern shared by Card Factory, which had to close more than 1,000 shops temporarily during lockdown. It’s pausing new store format trials and investing heavily online and in multichannel services as it looks to show how it’s different from pureplay competitors. 

ScS had already invested in ecommerce this year for both in its stores and online. Following lockdown, it’s developing new web-only products – but also learning about the support its staff need. It’s training 30 members of staff as mental health first aiders to do so.

Staying on that theme, InternetRetailing is a media partner of the upcoming Mad World Summit on October 8 and we have 20 free delegate sponsor passes to give away for this week’s event. Email to claim yours.

Aldi may not have had to close shops during the pandemic, but it has learned from customers’ demand for online delivery during lockdown. It’s now started to roll out a click and collect service to customers and is also investing in new stores and to reduce plastic in its business.

Amazon postponed its Prime Day event from July, as a result of the pandemic, and has now named dates in October instead. We report on why that’s likely to make October 13 the de facto start of the pre-Christmas peak shopping period. 

Meanwhile, Ted Baker has been learning how to use its stores to fulfil online orders this year – and says it has won an extra 101,000 online orders as a result of its new ship from store approach, using OneStock’s order management system. 

Today’s guest comment comes from David Jeffrey of Barclaycard Payments who considers what businesses can do about friendly fraud.

As mentioned above, InternetRetailing is a media partner of this week’s Mad World Summit, which covers all aspects of corporate wellbeing issues through keynote speeches, panels, workshops and a showcase of suppliers. We have 20 free delegate sponsor passes to give away for the digital Mad World Summit on October 8. If you’d like one, email

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