Online Retail News In Brief (18 October 2017)


In case you missed them, we’ve pulled together a few online retail news highlights from around the web this week.

Here are some of the latest stories in online retail.

Highest inflation rate since April 2012

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) reached 3% in September, up from 2.9% in August. Prices in food and transport were the main drivers of the growth, while clothing prices grew less strongly.

In April, Business Rates will rise in line the Retail Price Index (RPI), which was up 3.9%.

We picked up some evidence of impact in our September Sales Index results.

Footfall keeps on falling

According to figures from Springboard and the BRC, September high street footfall dropped again, marking a third consecutive month of decline.

Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle: “September’s sales rose due to inflation, but the accelerating decline in footfall is a strong indicator of consumers railing back spending. Much is often made about the impact of weather, but with similar weather conditions to September 2016, this cannot be put forward as a driver. Aggressive early season sales indicate retailers are spooked, and they will be on edge with the six-week countdown now on to the start of the festive shopping season.”

Asos launches same-day delivery

Asos has announced its new same-day fulfilment option, named ‘Asos Instant’, which offers delivery between 6pm and 10pm for orders placed before 10am.

The service costs £12.95, and will be available initially in London only, with plans to roll out across other major UK cities “in the coming months”.

For more information about current shopper expectations around delivery, download the IMRG UK Consumer Home Delivery Review 2017.

The spiraliser is dead — long live the unicorn

John Lewis has published its annual trends report, which revealed:

  • Searches for the term ‘unicorn’ saw a 70% jump this year
  • Shoppers searched ‘mermaid’ 99% more than last year
  • Searches for ‘spiraliser’ decreased by 53%, and sales of the item dropped 40%
  • Sales was women’s suits fell by 10%

Harrods breaks the £2bn sales mark

23% year-on-year growth has brought Harrod’s total turnover to over £2bn. This marks an eighth year of profit for the iconic department store.

Knife deliveries now criminal

In an effort to reduce knife crime, the government has introduced new laws that forbid retailers from sending knife orders to shoppers’ homes. The Home Office has stated that orders must be collected from stores by shoppers with identification, and online-only retailers should make arrangements with third party collection points.

Toys ‘R’ Us suffers supply disruption

Back in September, we covered the bankruptcy proceedings of Toys ‘R’ Us in the United States. While UK operations were said to be unaffected, suppliers Tutti Bambini and Worlds Apart have halted deliveries to the retailer.

Worlds Apart cited concerns over credit insurance, and Tutti Bambini were unsure about the future of Toys ‘R’ Us.

Coach to Rebrand

Coach is preparing to take the name of its parent company Tapestry Inc. The rebrand bring Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman under the Tapestry name to “better reflect” the “entire brand portfolio”.

English Heritage shares ghost index

Bolsover Castle has come first in English Heritage’s ranking of ‘spookiest’ buildings. The ghost of a boy who holds hands with visitors clinched the victory for the Derbyshire landmark.

The top ten is as follows:

  1. Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire
  2. Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire
  3. Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight
  4. Pendennis Castle, Cornwall
  5. Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire
  6. Beeston Castle and Woodland Park, Cheshire
  7. Dover Castle, Kent
  8. Framlingham Castle, Suffolk
  9. Clifford's Tower, North Yorkshire
  10. Home of Charles Darwin — Down House, Kent

On the subject of pretending things are in the room with you, take a look at these articles featuring augmented reality in online retail.


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