Retail and eCommerce Round-up

Why UK Food Shortages Could be Here to Stay

Source: Speciality Food

Over half of British shoppers have experienced food shortages in local supermarkets, and experts warn that labour shortages affecting UK supply chains could go on for two years. Food and drink retail, farming and logistics sectors are all suffering due to the shortfall of HGV drivers triggered by the global pandemic and Brexit. There’s currently a shortage of around 100,000 drivers, resulting in empty shelves in supermarkets and panic buying of petrol and diesel.

The article reports that independent retailers have also experienced staff shortages which have prevented them from operating at full capacity. To tackle these shortages, the food industry collectively called for a Covid Recovery Visa which would help retailers attract international workers to fill critical roles.

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Holland & Barrett Reduces Plastic Packaging Saving 200 Tonnes a Year

Source: Retail Gazette

Holland & Barrett have demonstrated how retailers can reduce their carbon footprints on numerous occasions over the years. For instance, the retailer banned plastic bags back in 2010 and in 2018 announced that they don’t send any waste to landfill sites. They even use green energy to power 85% of their UK stores, offices and distribution centres.

To further support their drive to a sustainable future, Holland & Barret are reworking the packaging of their brand vitamin range. The UK’s leading health and wellbeing retailer expects to save 200 tonnes of plastic each year by introducing smaller bottles. These bottles will contain 20% less plastic than they used to and only use plastic that comprises at least 80% recycled materials.

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Amazon Opens First International 4-star Store in the UK

Source: TameBay

Diversifying from its eCommerce background, Amazon has started investing in brick-and-mortar stores in various locations. The eCommerce giant recently opened a 4-star store in Bluewater, near London. As the name suggests, the store only sells products that have a 4-star rating or higher.

The store curators will regularly rotate the stock in-store based on new trends, sourcing products from UK businesses. The products in stock are based on what customers are buying online, bringing in products from the top categories including toys, games, kitchen, home, electronics and so much more.

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Return to Office Boosts Retail Footfall

Source: Retail Gazette

The recent return to the office has provided the retail industry with a much-needed boost in footfall. During the Monday to Friday working week, footfall rose by 6.7% in high streets located in central London. Due to workplaces opening their doors again, average retail footfall in the UK rose by 2.7%.

Large city centres outside of London also saw an increase of 6.1% during the working week. The recent rise in footfall was the first in four weeks, and footfall fell during the same week in 2019 and 2020. With more workers venturing out during their lunches, retailers are receiving a boost in sales. As the festive period draws closer, retail footfall will continue to increase.  

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