Retail and eCommerce Round-up

Over Three-Quarters of Brits Now Shop Online for Groceries

Source: Essential Retail

When the coronavirus crisis began, supermarkets were flooded with panic buyers. Massive queues formed and shelves were emptied of essential food. As a result, many consumers were not able to buy the food they needed, while others didn’t feel comfortable being close to other shoppers.

The rapid growth of the eCommerce sector has been accelerated by the pandemic, which has shifted many consumers to online shopping. Online grocery shopping has never been more popular, and competition for delivery slots is fierce. A recent study found that one in four British citizens buy groceries online at least once a week, twice as many as in 2019.

Online shopping allows consumers to select the groceries they need and minimise human contact in the process, reducing the risk of spreading the virus. Research from Waitrose found that 77% of UK consumers now do at least a part of their grocery shopping online. Last year, 61% of consumers shopped online for groceries, highlighting the huge impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on consumer buying behaviour.

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How Fashion Retailers can Stay Relevant in a Post-Covid World

Source: Essential Retail

For many consumers, the main reason to travel to a store is to try on clothes before buying them. However, consumers are currently not allowed to try on clothes in stores due to government guidelines issued to retailers. The guidelines preventing consumers from trying on clothes in fashion outlets have pushed more people to buy their clothes online.

This article explores how fashion brands can respond to these unfavourable market conditions and maintain sales revenue. Here are a few ways fashion retailers are responding:

  • They are engaging with loyal customers.
  • They are launching new products.
  • They are now turning to eCommerce platforms to help boost sales.

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COVID-19 Impact, and What’s Next – a Letter from Our CEO

Source: Cybertill

Experts have predicted that the prolonged recession of the global economy is our biggest risk in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. The UK economic output shrank by 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020, plunging us into the deepest recession of any major global economy.

If every company that was forced to close during the pandemic reopened quickly, the consequences of the recession would be less severe. However, the reopening of businesses was staggered due to government regulations, meaning the economic recovery will take longer. A study from Deloitte found that 58% of retailers expect that the disruption caused by the pandemic will last over a year.

Digitalisation of the retail sector has been accelerated by the pandemic, leading to a new wave of online shoppers coming from all age groups. Almost half of UK consumers are buying products online for the first time due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Moving forward, the shift towards online shopping will continue, while supply chains will be digitally transformed to help streamline the order fulfilment process.

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Marks & Spencer to Axe 7,000 Jobs Over Next Three Months

Source: Retail Times

Despite M&S claiming to have learned how to work more productively and with more flexibility during the pandemic, the retailer has announced its plans to significantly reduce its workforce, cutting 7,000 jobs in three months. M&S attribute these cuts to a behavioural change in the way customers do their shopping. In the last three months, clothing and home revenue fell 38.5%, and store-based sales were down 47.9% in the first two months since opening its doors post-lockdown.

Experts suggest that the coronavirus pandemic has simply accelerated the long-term change that has been developing in the retail sector for years. It’s not all doom and gloom for the retail sector however, with official figures showing that retail sales in July were higher than pre-pandemic levels. 

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