About Glynn Davis

Author Archive | Glynn Davis

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Zia Zareem-Slade, customer experience director, Fortnum & Mason

Zia Zareem-Slade, customer experience director, Fortnum & Mason 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business?
 There are many: we have everything in place to grow our digital business in tandem with our store business; we have the chance to create a greater link between in-store and online customer experiences; and we have the […]

Read full story

Retail Insider Breakfast – Roger Whiteside, CEO of Greggs + Miranda Ballard, co-founder of Muddy Boots

Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event of 2017 with Roger Whiteside, CEO of Greggs, and Miranda Ballard, co-founder of Muddy Boots, who shared their experiences of both running food retail companies but where they differ massively in terms of scale. Greggs operates a hefty 1,786 outlets while Muddy Boots has a mere three stores […]

Read full story

Humans and robots or humans versus robots?

For technology-focused individuals in the world of retail there really is no escape from Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. It is increasingly being applied to the likes of chatbots, which aim to imitate a human interaction with customers. This is pretty hot stuff right now. The ability to use this clever technology to engage […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Depop

Name: Depop The Place: On your smart phone via the Depop app, which has over six million registered users. Sorry, how many? 6 million. I know. And it’s no slouch on Twitter either with 166,000 followers and a Facebook community with over 36,500 likes. But the app is where it’s really at. The Story: Currently […]

Read full story

UK’s serious thirst for alcohol online

Despite the continued reduction in alcohol consumption in the UK (yes, it’s true, and it’s partly driven by Millennials’ lessened thirst for booze) the country is a leader in terms of sales made online – having the highest level among European consumers. Recent research from Profitero shows that 21% of consumers in the UK have […]

Read full story

Retail Insider Drinks Event with Jonathan Wall, group e-commerce director of Shop Direct + Andrew Robb, COO of Farfetch

   Retail Insider held its latest Evening Drinks Event in London with two leading players from the technology end of fashion retailing giving their insights on the industry and how it continues to change through ongoing innovation. Andrew Robb, COO of Farfetch, and Jonathan Wall, group e-commerce director of Shop Direct, took part in a […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Simon Mottram, founder and CEO, Rapha Racing

Simon Mottram, founder and CEO, Rapha Racing 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Growing the sport of cycling. We want to reach more people and get more people to enjoy cycling. We’re ready made to take people by the hand. They can join our club, take part in rides, travel with us, buy […]

Read full story

Launch of ‘Transforming Retail’ Awards 2017

Retail Insider is proud to launch its inaugural ‘Transforming Retail’ Awards in 2017. The aim of the awards is to showcase the best examples of innovation across the sector and we would like to invite relevant organisations to apply to be shortlisted in the relevant categories. If you wish to nominate for an award all […]

Read full story

Retail Innovation: What the future holds for brick and mortar stores

Online shopping continues to disrupt the retail sector. While in-store sales still make up the majority of revenue for retailers, traditional brick and mortar stores have been struggling to keep up with the pace of change as more shoppers turn to the internet for their shopping trips. However, new-technologies are beginning to now disrupt the […]

Read full story

Differentiation is real definition of success

It is somewhat ironic that in the early days of the internet fashion was regarded as one of the categories that were not expected to make the move online. Apparently shoppers were too wedded to the idea of touching, feeling, and trying on goods. Or so the theory went. Try telling that to the clothing […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – OfferMoments

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2016 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Abdul Alim, co-founder, OfferMoments, which is placed at number 40 in the report. 1.How did the original idea come […]

Read full story

The rise and hopeful demise of ‘grocerant’

The retail industry has a great capacity to devise descriptive terms that should never see the light of day. Retailtainment and omni-channel are two such terms that really should have been consigned straight to the bin. A similar thought occurred to me when I came across a new term – grocerant. I guess you’ve worked […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Rapha Racing

Name: Rapha The Place: 13 units globally right now, but they’re nothing if not ambitious at Rapha and want to get up to 20 by the end of the year and then keep that growth level up each year. Crikey. The Story: This is really a tale of a biking gear brand not primarily a […]

Read full story

Screen on the Green presents Future of F&B

The Screen on the Green is a cinema in North London that has a majestic history, having played host to some thought-provoking bands. It is also the location for the Future of Food & Beverage’ seminar hosted by Portland. Retail Insider has long been an advocate of the theory that the leisure and retail industries […]

Read full story

Which retailers do you trust?

Trust is a big issue for large UK retailers at the moment. From rising food prices post-Brexit to the #StopFundingHate campaign, customers’ trust seems to be under constant pressure. Retailers know if they lose the battle for trust, their market share will slide. The latest research from Mettle measures customer trust in some of the […]

Read full story

Polarisation of shopping malls continues

Shopping mall operators in the US are proving an interesting investment opportunity for some of the country’s hedge funds who see them as worthy of their attention. But don’t think this is because they view them as growth stories whose values will increase. It is the complete opposite. They are placing bets on expectations that […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Sara Prowse, CEO, Hotter Shoes

Sara Prowse, CEO, Hotter Shoes 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? International expansion, with continued growth in the US in particular. We are approaching this opportunity in two ways: through digital expansion; and through retail partnerships. 2. What is the biggest challenge to your business? External pressures. Consumer confidence is likely to […]

Read full story

Budget 2017 – far from a multi-channel affair

On budget day this week Alex Baldock, CEO of Shop Direct, gave a super presentation at Retail Week Live on the beauty of operating as a pure play retailer unencumbered by the hassle of operating high street shops. He did not refer to business rates specifically but there is no doubt that they are proving […]

Read full story

Short term pain for long term gain

For the first time in a decade H&M has made changes to the guidance it gives investors on its expectations for future performance. It is to now focus on achieving 10-15% growth in total sales each year rather than on the long established aim of a 10-15% increase in physical store openings each year. This […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – Elevaate

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2016 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Simon Harrow, co-founder of Elevaate, which is placed at number 25 in the report.   1.Where did the original […]

Read full story

Retail Insider Breakfast – Ewan Venters, CEO, Fortnum & Mason

Retail Insider held its first Breakfast Event of 2017 with Ewan Venters, CEO of Fortnum & Mason, who highlighted how the 310-year-old iconic retailing brand has never been stronger following a raft of initiatives over the past few years. Since taking on the CEO role in 2012 he says he has sought to both recognise […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – The Unlimited Company

Name: The Unlimited Company. The Place: 14 stores currently spread around the UK fairly evenly and an increasing online presence too. The Story: You have to have your wits about you when you shop here. How so? If you visit a store in Norwich you are looking for the sign that says ‘Simply Health Independent […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Clare Johnston, joint-CEO, The Up Group

Clare Johnston, joint-CEO, The Up Group 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? The Up Group is Europe’s leading digital executive search and networking firm, finding exceptional talent for companies across the growth curve. Our clients are fast-growing pure-play businesses and more established multi-channel organisations undergoing transformational change, and they all increasingly require […]

Read full story

Marketplaces lose some of their seamless experience

Ebay was a real pioneer when it emerged on the scene in 1995. Not so much because it provided a platform for people to buy and sell goods but because of its ingenious ratings system. It’s clever and very simple self-policing mechanism for buyers and sellers to rate each other was the gem that eBay […]

Read full story

The high value of simplicity

If I had a pound for every time I’d heard businesses talk about simplifying their customers’ experience! Well, if they had managed to deliver on this not-so-straightforward objective then they would have been able to grab more than a few quid. Apparently, a slice of a massive $86billion would have been up for grabs. That […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Long Tall Sally

Name: Long Tall Sally The Place: Well, as you’re asking so nicely there are 10 stores in the UK, five in Germany, four in the US, and seven in Canada. As well as a big online presence of course. The Story: Back in the mists of time, well 1976 actually, an American called Judy Rich, […]

Read full story

Move over coffee, tea is back in town

We all know you cannot walk along a high street or venture into a shopping centre without tripping over branded coffee bars. And just when you thought we must be close to reaching saturation point, think again. The UK branded coffee shop segment is set to reach to 9,400 outlets and hit £6 billion of […]

Read full story

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2016 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Henry Harris-Burland, marketing manager, Starship Technologies, which is placed at number 47 in the report. 1.How did the original […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q& A – David Lloyd, director, Alibaba Group UK

David Lloyd, Director, Alibaba Group UK 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Digital technology is creating something close to a borderless world, opening up new markets and new customer groups for the first time. As an e-commerce company, our biggest opportunity is bringing those new customer groups online and introducing brands to […]

Read full story

Retailers must avoid alienating the ‘un-cool kids’

School can be a nightmare and one of the worst anybody can suffer is to be the last person to be picked when the selections are made for sporting teams. And let’s not even go near the potential embarrassment of being left on the sidelines of school dances/discos/proms. While being left out can be a […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Library of Things

Name: The Library of Things The Place: So far one outlet based in Norwood – which is sarf London to you. And all neatly enclosed in one shipping container.   The Story: You know those weekends when you wake up and say to yourself: “This weekend I am going to learn how to play the ukulele?” […]

Read full story

Reimagining the shopping mall

Regardless of how smart and glitzy some shopping malls are on the inside, the exteriors of pretty much all such structures resemble unsightly aircraft hangers with few redeeming features. In contrast, the beautiful buildings that house the stores, and the surrounding landscaped gardens, are key components that set Kilver Court Designer Outlet Village in Somerset […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Virginie Charlès-Dear, founder, Toucan Box

Virginie Charlès-Dear, founder, Toucan Box 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Our biggest opportunity is to be able to deliver outstanding products to our customers. We use technology and personalisation to create hands-on creative arts and crafts projects, today focusing on children aged three-to-eight years-old and in the future developing to other age […]

Read full story

Fashion rental firms not the threat many retailers envisaged

One of the big trends among Millennials is the embracing of a mentality of renting goods rather than purchasing them outright – hence the growth in market leaders like Rent the Runway. The obvious assumption here is that these organisations will take sales away from traditional retailers. This is not entirely correct. Hence the counter-intuitive […]

Read full story

Dunelm makes serious digital play

The CEO of home-wares retailer Dunelm Group, John Browett, certainly has plenty of digital credibility – dating back to his days running the online business of Tesco in 1999 and then on to turning around the troubled Dixons business as it grappled with, and then embraced, the internet. His ease playing across multiple channels was […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Enclothed

The Name: Enclothed The Place: The office is in Islington while the warehouse is in deepest Berkshire, well Slough actually. The Story: This is a tale of men, pants and a reinvention of the way males shop through the subscription model. Crikey. You’d better start: Three years ago two young women decided that it was […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – wiiGO

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2016 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&As with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Ricardo Silva, chief marketing officer of wiiGO, which is placed at number 7 in the report’s International Innovations table. […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Benjy Meyer, founder of VenueScanner

Benjy Meyer, founder, VenueScanner 1.What is the greatest opportunity for your business? The UK market for events is valued at over £50 billion annually and there is very limited consolidation in the market. The current experience for discovering, comparing and booking venues and associated event services is not designed in a user-friendly way. It’s a […]

Read full story

IT challenges grow for established retailers

Life is not getting any easier for store-based retailers as the online specialists continue to outspend them with their larger IT budgets, which will likely put greater power in the hands of these smaller operators as they continue to commit more capital to new technologies. According to the new Martec International report (IT in Retail […]

Read full story

Super Sausage Cafe wins Britain’s Best Cafe Award

One of the UK’s great institutions was celebrated this week, with the announcement of the winner of the award for Britain’s Best Cafe of 2016, which was decided by the voting of thousands of cafe-goers around the country. At a lunch in the City of London the Super Sausage Cafe of Potterspury, near Milton Keynes, […]

Read full story

Retailers need more intelligent delivery strategies

Home delivery is not exactly the most profitable aspect of any traditional retailers’ business but it does seem that merchants are not exactly helping themselves when it comes to managing this profit-draining service. The biggest issue is the continued stance of virtually all retailers to treat every customer exactly the same. They are clearly not […]

Read full story

New quickly becomes old with retail technology and business mindsets

What was particularly interesting about the recent Wired Retail event was that it highlighted how newer technologies and thinking are taking apart some of the beliefs that the earlier digital developments put in place. For instance, Randy Dean, chief business officer at Sentient Technologies, argues that with the advent of AI (artificial intelligence) the incumbent […]

Read full story

Sleepy mattress market wakes up

Mattresses are an odd thing. Living in a relatively urban location in north London discarded mattresses are a regular sight on street corners, which has always seemed rather strange. My household does not go through them at quite the same cracking rate as others. Whatever the circumstances behind this apparent rapid turnover in mattresses – […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Ross Bailey, founder, Appear Here

Ross Bailey, founder, Appear Here  1.What is the greatest opportunity for your business? If you look at what companies like Airbnb and Uber have done to the travel and hospitality sectors, I believe Appear Here has the potential to bring as much disruption to the retail industry. Lease lengths are falling dramatically, and retailers are […]

Read full story

Love them or loathe them, retailers can’t live without stores

Talk about a polarised view – the physical store seems to either be a millstone around the neck of some retailers whereas for others with a predominantly online presence there is desperation to get some exposure to good old bricks and mortar. Amazon seems to be on the cusp of opening convenience stores – up […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Metro Bank

The Name: Metro Bank. The Place: The first one opened in Holborn, London, in 2010 and there are now 42 branches in the UK with the pretty hefty aim of opening one a month for the next five years, which makes a grand total of… a jolly big number. The Story: Shiny, shiny, shiny. Metro […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Martin Francis, chief customer officer, WoolOvers

 Martin Francis, chief customer officer, WoolOvers 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Before reading this interview you probably hadn’t heard of WoolOvers and that is our opportunity. If I told you about our expertise in knitwear since 1989, the breadth of colour and choice we have in our ranges (at a surprisingly […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – Tossed

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2016 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&As with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Vincent McKevitt, founder, Tossed, that is placed at number 13 in the report. 1. How did the original idea […]

Read full story

Retail Insider Breakfast – Richard Pennycook, CEO, The Co-operative Group

Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event with Richard Pennycook, CEO of The Co-operative Group, who recalled his early period at the company when there was a real chance the business would not survive the crisis at its banking arm. The first six to nine months of any turnaround are focused very much on survival […]

Read full story

Entering the era of the data analyst and number cruncher

It seems that we might now be well and truly entering the era of the data and digital analyst in the retail industry. Recent research from OC&C Strategy Consultants found that 60,000 new digital and analytical roles will be urgently required by 2020 in the fashion industry alone. This is a big number and highlights […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailers Top 25 Report launched

The first Retail Insider Innovative Retailer Top 25 report has launched with the objective of shining a light on the most innovative retail businesses that are proving great inspirations to the rest of the industry. Sponsored by PCMS Group it highlights retailers from across the board – from the youngest of operators right the way […]

Read full story

The Wine Society has most improved UK drinks retail website in September

The Wine Society has leapt up the table of the top performing UK drinks websites in September, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse, as it climbed 11 places into seventh spot. The retailer achieved a score of 4.04 out of 10 compared with 3.04 in August when it stood […]

Read full story

Changing living styles impacting on retail sector

If I told you that luxury house builders are beginning to reduce the size of the rooms in some of their latest developments in London you might think so what? But this move is indicative of the change in the way a growing number of people are living and as a result retailers should take […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Starbucks

The Name: Starbucks The Place: Well, obviously the whole universe is bloomin’ full of them, around 24,000 stores spread all over the world. The Story: Let’s pretend I am a hipster. This might take some time: What do I think when I see yet another Starbucks in front of me? Hang on, I’m still envisioning: […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – Photospire

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2016 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&As with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Ger O’Meara, founder, Photospire, that is placed at number 35 in the report.   1. How did the original […]

Read full story

Retail Insider ‘Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100’ report launch with Simon Belsham, CEO of Notonthehighstreet.com

Retail Insider celebrated the launch of the Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100 report with an evening event involving the CEO of a leading online retailer and a tutored craft beer tasting. The event at Sourced Market Marylebone attracted senior executives from a variety of retailers including John Lewis, House of Fraser and Reiss […]

Read full story

‘Movers & Shakers in Retail’ 2016 report launches

Senior Apple executive Angela Ahrendts sits atop the ‘Retail Insider Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100’ report for the second year running as the 2016 version celebrates the achievements of retailers leading the digital transformation of the industry. [Link to the 2016 Movers & Shakers Report] The annual report, sponsored by K3 Retail, this […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Pro Direct

The Name: Pro Direct The Place: Basically an online family business based in Devon with 350 staff and a big warehouse. But also boasting one stupendous shop in Carnaby Street, W1. The Story: Ah, websites and shops. How to integrate them. One of the great retail questions of the day. Is it? Yes. Often there […]

Read full story

Bargain stores – low prices, big ambitions

As B&M casts its eye over the former BHS stores, with a view to further growing its presence in the UK, it highlights how the bargain stores are taking an ever greater slice of shoppers’ cash at the expense of others in the retail sector. According to Nielsen, British shoppers spent nearly £5 billion at […]

Read full story

Luxury brands line up collaborations

Luxury brands need to initiate more collaborations with relevant partners if they are to successfully navigate the increasingly digitally-led marketplace over the next few years. This is a trend identified  in research undertaken by WGSN for luxury brand alliance Walpole According to the survey – ‘How to Attract the Luxury Consumer in 2020’ – of […]

Read full story

Landlords hungry for independents

Who has heard of The Fine Cheese Co.? Now, I’m betting that if you don’t live in Bath or London’s smart Belgravia then it is unlikely you will have come across this retailer. And that is probably just the way the landlord of its shop in the capital likes it. How about Traders or Pavilion […]

Read full story

Marks & Spencer leaps up table of best performing UK online drinks retailers in August

Marks & Spencer has the most improved drinks website in August according to its progress up the table of the Top UK drinks sites tested during the month, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse, as it climbs 13 places into eighth spot. The retailer achieved a score of 4.02 […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Jon Owen, CEO of Ribble Cycles

Jon Owen, CEO, Ribble Cycles 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? At Ribble Cycles, we want to make it easy and enjoyable to build and buy a fantastic, customised bike online; avoiding the costs and hassle of the traditional store retail model, while delivering personalisation that stores can only dream of. The […]

Read full story

Primark and Asos moving to the ideal retail model. Or not?

Asos, Boohoo, Missguided, and Shop Direct are just a few of the online-only fashion retailers that are continuing to deliver outsized like-for-like sales increases. Leader of the pack Asos delivered a leap in sales of 30% for the four months to June compared with the same period last year and Boohoo’s recent numbers have been […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Sue Ryder

The Name: Sue Ryder The Place: 455 charity shops all over the country The Story: If I say to you “charity shop” what’s the first word that comes into your head? Musty: Right, how about “donations”? Waterfalls. What? Those weird pictures of waterfalls they always have. Or highland cows: Okay. Now how about “Sue Ryder”? […]

Read full story

Threat to retailers from brands selling direct-to-consumer moves up a notch

Everybody reading this will have heard of Unilever but probably fewer people will know of Dollar Shave Club (DSC) in the US. Well, the big news from across the Atlantic was that the former has just bought the latter for $1 billion. So what, you might ask. Well, the ramifications could be enormous for not […]

Read full story

BEERmerchants.com most improved UK online drinks retail website in July

BEERmerchants.com has stormed up the table of the Top UK drinks websites in July, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse, as it delivers the most improved performance this month. It’s strong improvement, which has seen it climb 14 places to eighth spot in the table with a score of […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Matt Truman, CEO of True Capital

Matt Truman, CEO, True Capital 1.What is the greatest opportunity for the retail businesses you are involved with? There is a fundamental lack of growth in the retail industry but we are investing in disruptive businesses. There is a step-change in the value proposition for customers and the incumbents cannot compete. Take ‘Tyres On The […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – GoInStore

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2016 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) on July 6 a series of Q&As with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with  André Hordagoda, co-founder of GoInStore that is placed at number 23 in the report. […]

Read full story

Variety keeps The Fine Cheese Co. nicely maturing

Newly opened The Fine Cheese Co. store in London’s ultra smart Belgravia typifies the flexible retail formats that are becoming increasingly visible on high streets across the UK and not just those in the country’s flashier enclaves. It focuses mainly on cheese – as its name rather obviously suggests – but as well as selling  […]

Read full story

More intelligent returns management needed

Margins on online sales are of significant concern to retailers because compared with selling via stores the delivery of goods to the home and via Click & Collect are somewhat slimmer. Profitability via non-store channels is a sensitive and problematic issue and one of the key components of this are returns, which are the bane […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Brian McBride, chairman of Asos and Wiggle

Brian McBride, chairman of Asos and Wiggle 1. What is the greatest opportunity for the retail businesses you are involved with? I think every e-commerce business has the same phenomenal opportunity as we can clearly see the percentage of the retail market served by online rising inexorably daily, weekly, and monthly. If we perform averagely […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations report launch event

Retail Insider celebrated the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations Report 2016 with an evening event involving influential guest speakers and a tutored wine tasting along with a few additional surprises. The event and report, both sponsored by Webloyalty, attracted senior executives from a variety of retailers who enjoyed a first view of the report, […]

Read full story

Time to introduce new metrics in-store

As the customer experience in-store becomes so much more than just about flogging goods to anybody who crosses the threshold there is a need for different ways of measuring performance. Retailers are now starting to incorporate much more technology in-store including tablets and smarter Point-of-Sale devices for rich ‘clientelling’ activity that can massively enhance the […]

Read full story

Search for Digital Movers & Shakers 2016 underway

Finding the Movers & Shakers of 2016 in the digital space is firmly underway following the completion of the Advisory Panel morning this week that sits to deliberate who the most impressive people are in the UK. They are helping find the most impressive individuals who will take their place in the Retail Insider Movers […]

Read full story

Airport retailers on different digital plane

Distinguishing between retailers successfully navigating the digital world and those failing to acclimatise to the revolutionary change now taking place around them can be quite tough when you are on the outside. What might make this task easier is if we took it as a given that retailers who successfully operate airport stores are much […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations Report 2016 launched

The ‘Digital Retail Innovations Report 2016’ has launched with Amazon commandeering the top end of the table with three innovations listed in the top 10 places. To access the report please click on the link below: Digital-Innovations-Report-2016 This year’s report, sponsored by Webloyalty, includes the Top 50 innovations in the UK and Ireland so it […]

Read full story

The Whisky Shop returns to top spot among major UK online drinks retailers in June

Specialist whisky retailer The Whisky Shop has delivered the most improved performance in the table of the Top UK drinks websites in June, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse, and shares the top spot with Budgens this month. It climbs four places with a score of 5.58 out of […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Kochhaus

The Name: Kochhaus The Place: Various affluent and cosmopolitan cities in Germany, but it all started in Berlin which now has three branches The Story: Have you ever come across a concept so simple that you thought ‘That’s not an innovation, there must be loads of people doing that already’? I certainly have: Well, you […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – MyCheck

Ahead of the launch of the ‘Retail Insider Digital Retail Innovations Top 50’ report 2016 (sponsored by Webloyalty) on July 6 here is one of a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key digitally-driven innovations in the retail industry. (Click here to view 2015 report) Q&A with Gil Hazan, MD […]

Read full story

Poor online service will ultimately kill the worst offending retailers

Almost three-quarters (73%) of shoppers would switch to another retailer if they suffered a poor experience when buying goods online, according to findings from JDA/Centiro in the Customer Pulse 2016 report. What makes this worse is the fact that over half (53%) of consumers had actually experienced a disappointing experience when buying goods over the […]

Read full story

Retail Insider Breakfast – Craig Inglis, customer director of John Lewis

Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event with Craig Inglis, customer director at John Lewis, the man behind the company’s phenomenally successful Christmas advertising campaigns. He recalled joining John Lewis in 2008 and focusing on developing the emotional connection between the company and its customers. After a couple of forays he found his stride with […]

Read full story

Technology must be used intelligently for personalisation

Since technology has traditionally been used to drive efficiency gains in businesses it is not surprising that it has been given the task of personalising the online experience customers receive – whether that is through tailored landing pages or the delivery of more bespoke search results. But great care has to be taken because relying […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Neil Sansom, CEO of Woolovers

  Neil Sansom, chief executive of Woolovers 1.What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Increasing the brands awareness as we are very much an unknown but have very loyal customers once they experience our product and service. 2.What is the biggest challenge to your business? We’re changing our IT infrastructure over the next 12 […]

Read full story

Revolution taking place at Woolovers

There’s a great yarn to be told about a woollen sweater retailer that’s set to jumper ahead of the competition. Okay, that’s enough, you’ve no doubt heard far too much pun-laden writing and the fact is it is not exactly clever so there will be no more of it in this piece. Woollen uppers specialist […]

Read full story

Take a leaf out of Inditex playbook with RFID

Inditex has long led the race for efficiency in the supply chain, with its Zara fashion chain the global exemplar in managing stock, and one of the key tools in its armoury is Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Whereas most other retailers have not bothered utilising the technology there is a growing acknowledgment that as the […]

Read full story

Spar (UK) holds top spot in table of major UK online drinks retailers in May

Spar (UK) fends off competition in the table of the Top UK drinks websites in May, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse, as it holds the top spot with the best performing website this month. It’s score of 6.36 out of 10 – the same as in April – […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Unmade

  The Name: Unmade The Place: Although the lovely Somerset House in London WC2 is where the office is based this is mainly an online retailer at present. And it has had a pop-up store in Selfridges for a brief stint. The fact is to be honest they’d rather not be a retailer at all, […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – yReceipts

Ahead of the launch of the ‘Retail Insider Digital Retail Innovations Top 50’ report 2016 (sponsored by Webloyalty) on July 6 here is one of a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key digitally-driven innovations in the retail industry. (Click here to view 2015 report Q&A with Alexander Kayser, co-founder […]

Read full story

Retail Insider Breakfast – David Buttress, CEO of Just Eat

Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event with David Buttress, CEO of digital marketplace for take-away food Just Eat, who told the story of how the first month the UK business accrued only £34 of revenue while today it brings in £350 million across its various markets. It is also a tale of how the […]

Read full story

Amazon trying fashion for size

Amazon is undoubtedly a threat to all parts of the retail industry. Whichever part of the sector it turns its gaze on will inevitably come under pressure and right now it has fashion firmly in its sights. To this end it has invested in an extensive photo studio and appointed fashion writing specialists that have […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Richard Houlton, former director of channels, Clarks

Richard Houlton, former director of channels for UK & ROI, Clarks 1. What is the greatest opportunity for retailers in today’s digital world? The greatest opportunity is to interact with consumers in a personal way and to use the simple and cost effective ways that the digital world now enables – for the collection of […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Zara

The Name: Zara The Place: All over the world pretty much, with more than 2,000 shops in just about any place where young women own bank cards. Actually there is a menswear line too so the other half of the population is also catered for. The Story:  Founded in 1975 by one fashion-loving Spaniard Amancio […]

Read full story

Ultimate ‘Online Mystery Shopper’ service launching September

The table of the top online drinks retailers published each month by Retail Insider is to be re-launched in September as a ranking of the results from an ‘Online Mystery Shopper’ service provided by Sitemorse that will accurately reflect the experiences faced by customers online. It will be the ultimate authoritative measure of real customer […]

Read full story

Poundland – breaking through the pound barrier

99p stores never had quite the same pedigree as Poundland so when the latter bought its cheaper-priced rival it was always going to be a tough task to bring things up to the required retailing standards. One of the achievements of the present management – led by the outgoing CEO Jim McCarthy – has been […]

Read full story

British Airways Wine Club flies up table of major UK online drinks retailers in Apr

British Airways Wine Club flew up the table of the Top UK drinks websites in April, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse, as it recovered most of the fall that it suffered earlier in the year. It moved up 20 places into second spot with a score of 6.30 […]

Read full story

Not yet a cashless society

Through the evolution of payment options from paper and coins to electronic methods, many have been quick to speculate the rise of a cashless society. The Cooperative supermarket’s recent report on consumer behaviour and spending predicted that by 2025 mobile payments will take over cash and card payments. Stalwart, the Royal Mint responded, defending cash […]

Read full story

Retail Insider Beer Tasting Event – with Michael Durbridge, director of omni-channel at B&Q + Duncan Sambrook, founder of Sambrook’s Brewery

Retail Insider has held its latest event – combining a tutored Beer Tasting with Duncan Sambrook of Sambrook’s Brewery and a talk by Michael Durbridge, director of omni-channel at B&Q – that highlighted both the vibrancy of the UK beer scene and the opportunities for retailers from developing multi-channel propositions. Senior executives from John Lewis, […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – Doddle

Ahead of the launch of the ‘Retail Insider Digital Retail Innovations Top 50’ report 2016 (sponsored by Webloyalty) on July 6 here is the first in a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key digitally-driven innovations in the retail industry. (Click here to view 2015 report) Q&A with Tim Robinson, […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Tossed

The Name: Tossed The Place: Around 26 units currently, including several in Dubai, and more than a handful located in Welcome Break stations around the UK.   The Story: So, shall we begin our tour of a very successful salad provider with more than a decade’s experience in the very competitive business of healthy eating. […]

Read full story

We know about the Millennials but what about the seniors

All the talk is of the Millennials and how they are the group that every company has to attract. Yes, it is fair to say, they are the future and that retailers’ longevity will be inextricably linked to doing business with them – now, or in the future at some point when they mature. But […]

Read full story

Budgens reclaims top spot in table of the major UK online drinks retailers in March

Convenience store business Budgens has reclaimed the number one spot in the table of the Top UK drinks websites in March, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse. It moves up one place to head the table after Spar (UK) has lost some momentum and slips four places. Such moves […]

Read full story

Fighting for digital expertise

Employment in the retail sector has been in the news over the past few weeks with the headlines highlighting the dramatic forecast that one million jobs will be lost from the industry by 2025. Whatever the ultimate figure, there is clearly going to be some big changes taking place – with the big driver digital. […]

Read full story

UK department should take a leaf out of Nordstrom playbook

Upmarket US-based department store Nordstrom was founded in 1901 but it hasn’t lost its mojo and become the equivalent of UK TV’s sitcom store Grace Brothers from Are You Being Served?  Rather the opposite in fact as it has become the go-to store for cutting edge pure-play retailers looking to gain exposure to bricks and […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Dave Elston, digital director Europe, Clarks

Dave Elston, digital director Europe, Clarks 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? To continue to grow our business internationally is a definite opportunity. We’ve a recognised brand overseas but not to the same extent as in the UK. We want to be a global brand. Our digital transformation goes hand in hand […]

Read full story

Reductions in retail employment far from a done deal

Recent figures from the BRC predicting that the number of people employed in the retail sector will reduce from a present three million to nearer two million by 2025 paints a very worrying picture. In the same way that retailers are having to completely overhaul their IT infrastructures, they are also embarking on serious reinventions […]

Read full story

Social media sceptics need to revisit their thinking

Retailers continue to grapple with social media. For every organisation that regards it as a distraction, there is one that fully embraces it and uses it as a key tool for engaging with customers. The former camp will argue that it is it is difficult to put forward a business case for committing serious resources […]

Read full story

British Airways Wine Club crashes down table of top 25 UK online drinks retailers in February

The wine club of the UK’s former national carrier British Airways has delivered a weakened performance online that has seen it hurtle down the table of the Top 25 UK drinks websites in February, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse. It had held third place last month with a […]

Read full story

Revolution in retail employment

Online sales continue to grow at a fair clip – from a present base of 10-15% of total sales across the whole retail industry – and with this, the landscape for employment in the sector is at the early stages of a revolution. Until this point retailers have used rubber bands and sticky tape to […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Gillian Drakeford, country retail manager, IKEA UK & Ireland

Gillian Drakeford, county retail manager, IKEA UK & Ireland 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? The biggest opportunity for IKEA is a transformation in the customer experience. We’ve worked hard over a number of years to invest in the physical and digital spaces for our customers and this has brought a lot of […]

Read full story

Retail Insider Breakfast – Anthony Fletcher, CEO of Graze

Retail Insider held its first Breakfast Event of 2016 with Anthony Fletcher, CEO of healthy snacks company Graze, who highlighted how data has been fundamental to the success of the business. Senior executives from Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Monsoon Acessorize and Amazon were among those who heard how the company was good at logistics […]

Read full story

The day Venda tried to sue me out of my house

Watching Powa Technologies call in the administrators Deloitte last week was very sad but not necessarily that surprising to the market. In my opinion, even though its founder Dan Wagner had been claiming it was worth almost £2 billion a few months ago, his businesses suggest this was more about over-hyping than actual reality. The […]

Read full story

CMA crack-down on unmarked sponsored content

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) publicly shamed five brands in February for suppressing negative reviews and not providing a ‘complete picture (for consumers) when making buying decisions’. The CMA renewed its commitment to ensure transparency in user generated content (UGC) in January, and is on the prowl for firms misrepresenting themselves on third-party sites […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Bloom & Wild

The Name: Bloom & Wild The Place: In your letterbox right now! Actually it’s an online business started in the Autumn of 2013 but letterboxes are going to figure highly, trust me. The Story: We’ve just had Valentine’s Day when Bloom & Wild were probably dealing with a lot of stressed and difficult people with […]

Read full story

Small independent retailers need to embrace digital

Everybody likes Independent shops. Even those people who never cross the threshold of such businesses would undoubtedly say they are great fans of them if ever questioned in a survey about their shopping habits. What this says about surveys is that they have to be treated with a little dose of scepticism – some more […]

Read full story

Time to think about artificial intelligence

Retail’s Big Show (organised by the National Retail Federation), aka NRF, in New York City each January is the big opportunity for IT suppliers from around the world to showcase their latest retail technologies. Most are simply the latest iterations of existing solutions and as such there are never many genuinely radical things on show […]

Read full story

The Drink Shop climbs table of top UK online drinks retailers in January

Independent drinks retailer The Drink Shop delivered the most improved online performance among the Top UK drinks websites in January, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse. Its strong performance took it into the top 10 as it moved up eight places with a score of 3.61 out of 10 […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Eataly

The Name: Eataly The Place: Well if you live in Italy or Japan you virtually can’t move for Eataly stores and there are around 30 globally – dotted about, one in Sao Paolo, one in Munich, one in Moscow. But none in the UK until a joint partnership opens in Selfridges later this year. Oh, […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Stan Laurent, group CEO, PhotoBox

Stan Laurent, group CEO, PhotoBox 1.What is the greatest opportunity for your business? The personalisation market is massive and is continuing to grow, with Europe alone believed to be worth £6-7 billion. We are only a £275 million business today, meaning that there is a huge amount to play for. As well as working hard […]

Read full story

Complex issue of returns perplexing for fashion retailers

Reducing returns is an objective of every online fashion retailer and as the level of returned items is expected to outpace the growth in online sales the problem looks set to grow. But it would be a mistake to reduce returns at all costs as this would undoubtedly lose a retailer sales volumes. The fact […]

Read full story

Food retailers ignore Millennials at your peril

Millennials are certainly a demographic grouping that secures its fair share of discussion in the retail industry as this 18 to 34-year-old age group has long been seen as attractive – based on their disposable income levels and the potential for merchants to grab them as future long-term loyal customers. Despite recognising their value, it […]

Read full story

Critical evolution of Point-of-Sale

Not that long ago retail technology was predominantly about Point-of-Sale (PoS) but things changed dramatically following the earthquake known as the internet, which disrupted things dramatically and in its wake myriad new IT solutions hit the industry. But PoS solutions still remain at the heart of in-store activities. They just happen to have developed into […]

Read full story

Retailers must up their game online or lose out to rivals

There’s a bloodthirsty battle going on for shoppers online and making the situation even more cut-throat is the fact that 77% of shoppers would be likely to switch to shopping with an alternative retailer next Christmas as a result of a poor online festive shopping experience. These are the findings from the second annual JDA/Centiro […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Siobhan Fitzpatrick, e-commerce & marketing director, Maplin

Siobhan Fitzpatrick, e-commerce & marketing director, Maplin 1.What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Maplin already has a huge strength in our customer service programme which believes in ‘Customer First’. It is evident in our service policies and also in the way our colleagues engage every day. Our greatest opportunity is becoming a fully […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Great British Exchange

The Name: Great British Exchange The Place: Mainly online but also one showroom in Harrogate. The Story: Patriots arise! Your country needs you. I’m ready: I have a stuffed bulldog. Mmmm, not really the style I wanted. I’ve got Union Jack underwear. Too much information. I’m singing Rule Britannia. Again, it’s one way to show […]

Read full story

Spar (UK) regains top spot as best performing UK online drinks retailer in December

Spar (UK) has reclaimed its crown as the best performing retailer in the table of the Top UK drinks websites in December, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse. The supermarket moved up four places with a score of 6.79 out of 10, which compares favourably with the 4.31 it […]

Read full story

Santa’s European delivery schedule is revealed

It’s that time of year again and with 45% of people stating they will do most of their Christmas shopping online, postal and carrier companies are going to have a bigger job than ever keeping up the pace to deliver gifts on time. But, across Europe, gift giving is far from identical and not just […]

Read full story

Death by a thousand cuts for Daily Deals sites

Daily Deals websites have been a feature of online retail for some years. Pioneered by Groupon in the US this area quickly grew into a red hot part of the market as a host of me-too propositions appeared and wooed shoppers with this new way of buying. But it has gradually died a slow death. […]

Read full story

Apps and mobile will determine online fashion winners

The popularity of mobile phones and apps for shopping will determine the small number of winners from the vast majority of also-rans in the world of online retail. While people are spending increasing amounts of time on smartphone apps – up 24% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 37.3 hours, according to Neilsen […]

Read full story

Customer-centricity and the role of the Chief Customer Officer

John Lewis, Apple and Amazon are regarded as the most customer-centric brands in the UK, according to research undertaken by Oresa Executive Search, but questions about this result were raised at a recent event held by the company. Attending the event at the St Pancras Renaissance hotel in London Tim Mason, former marketing director at […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Anthony Fletcher, CEO of Graze.com

Anthony Fletcher, CEO of graze.com 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? The food industry is relatively underpenetrated by technology compared to most other major industries. By placing technology at the core of what we do, graze continues to disrupt the food industry and revolutionise snacking. Our intelligent use of data has facilitated […]

Read full story

Sainsbury’s is most improved UK online drinks retailer in November

Sainsbury’s stormed up the table of the Top UK drinks websites in November, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse, taking it to eighth spot. The supermarket climbed 11 places with a score of 4.23 out of 10, compared with 2.95 last month. This strong performance contrasts with that of […]

Read full story

Amazon developing new era of store retailing via Seattle book shop

Amazon recently opened a small book store in Seattle that taken at face value provides further evidence that the good old physical book store has plenty of life left in it yet, despite the havoc the behemoth itself has wreaked on the category over the last decade-and-a-half. Or does it? The likelihood of Amazon going […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Graze.com

The Name: Graze The Place: Through your letterbox – so anywhere in the UK and now launched in the US too. The Story: Snacks are very big business, agreed? I should coco. You can’t move for family bags of salted nuts in my house: OK, what about super kale and edamame bean snacks? Well, slightly […]

Read full story

Adaptive innovation: Five considerations for start-ups on the bleeding edge

Setting up and running a start-up is becoming increasingly popular. Talented individuals are eschewing working for someone else, and instead looking to make their fortune by working for themselves. According to Startup Britain there were 581,000 new companies created in 2014, the most on record. And 2015 is expected to be another record-breaking year, with […]

Read full story

Small is increasingly beautiful for UK shoppers

Asda recently announced it was to slow the pace of its openings in London and Sainsbury’s meanwhile stated that it was, in sharp contrast, to continue to open new units at a cracking rate. We’re talking about convenience stores, which have certainly been in the news of late and the coverage has highlighted how the […]

Read full story

The delicate task of handling technology

Let’s face it technology can be a real pain. It costs a fortune to implement and then it never really does what you want it to do. Retailers have had their fair share of pain over the years from being over-sold the next big thing that’s been hyped to the hilt – only for it […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Steve Rothwell, founder, Eagle Eye

Steve Rothwell, CTO and founder, Eagle Eye 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? As a software service business you’d expect me to say digital or wearable technology wouldn’t you. Actually I think the greatest opportunity is the high street. There was some Kantar research released recently showing that over a three month […]

Read full story

Back to the future for loyalty

Loyalty schemes were supposedly dead. The consensus was that they served little purpose when all the focus of shoppers and retailers was firmly on delivering the cheapest possible prices. Nothing was deemed worthy of distracting them from this mission. Such was the downbeat mood music around loyalty programmes that Tesco had its insight division Dunnhumby […]

Read full story

Spar (UK) moves into top three best performing online drinks retailers in October

Spar (UK) improved its online performance in October to climb into third place in the table of the Top UK drinks websites this month, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse. It moves up six places in the table with a score of 4.85 out of 10 compared with 3.59 […]

Read full story

2015 Movers & Shakers Multi-channel Top 100 report launched

The ‘Retail Insider Top 100 Movers & Shakers in Multi-channel’ report for 2015 has been launched to celebrate the stars of the sector that are making a difference in pushing their businesses to become more digitally focused. At the head of the report, which is sponsored by K3 Retail, sits Angela Ahrendts of Apple closely […]

Read full story

Retail Insider Breakfast + Movers & Shakers Top 100 Launch

Retail Insider held its latest breakfast event with Andy Harding, chief customer officer at House of Fraser, who helped launch the Multi-channel Movers & Shakers 2015 report. Senior executives from John Lewis, B&Q, New Look, White Company and T2 were among those who not only heard how House of Fraser is tackling the move to […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Startisans

The Name: Startisans The Place: London only, in fact only one site to date – Shelton Street in Covent Garden although goodness knows they are searching hard for sites. Oh and there was a pop-up too for a bit. But as you will see there is a network through which successful startisans can progress. The […]

Read full story

Dark days could be getting lighter for major grocers

Rather like a listing supertanker Tesco continues to battle rough seas to right itself as it struggles with the after-effects of a space race that has left it drained of financial resources and lacking in differentiation in the marketplace.   Speaking at the recent IGD Big Debate 2015 conference Dr Clive Black, head of research at […]

Read full story

Growth of the hound pound

When pet shop chain Pet Pavilion announced it would be selling a non-alcoholic beer for dogs to enjoy when they accompany their owners down the pub then you know there is something happening (however odd) in the pet sector. The brew called Snuffle joined an array of upmarket products the business sells – across its […]

Read full story

Loyalty is the key to our mobile payments

The mobile payments landscape has been a confusing one for retailers and leisure companies alike. Myriad start-ups and global giants have asked business leaders to put their faith in these newcomers’ hands before embarking on the mobile payments journey. These mobile payment companies have also dished out over-zealous press releases making extravagant claims that have […]

Read full story

Rethinking in-store employees

We all know the store is changing in terms of how the physical space is being used but this is not the only thing that we shall see adapt because the way store employees are used in-store is set for an upheaval too as a result of the impact of digital. This is a key […]

Read full story

Budgens retains top spot as best performing online drinks retailer in September

Budgens kept its position at the head of the table of Top UK drinks websites in September despite a reduced lead ahead of the second-placed retailer, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse. Budgens achieved a score of 5.90 out of 10 compared with 6.08 last month just ahead of […]

Read full story

Consumer demand lures yet more reluctant retailers online

Both Poundland and Aldi have recently announced plans for launches of online stores after much deliberation and questions over whether the channel stacks up financially for value retailers. And Lidl has also been talking of making the plunge. The argument for going online continues to ratchet-up because every bit of research you care to read […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Tim Robinson, CEO of Doddle

Tim Robinson, CEO, Doddle 1.What is the greatest opportunity for your business? For us it’s about being the company that revolutionises the way people deal with parcels, becoming the parcel service you can’t believe you lived without. The quest to eradicate the ‘sorry you were out’ card is also a driving force for Doddle. We […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Spar UK

The Name: Spar The Place: 2.4k stores around the UK, so very prevalent basically. And if you are talking global reach then 12k shops around the world. The Story: Spar, I hear you cry. What, that corner shop mainstay with its Kingsmill bread rolls and Heinz baked beans. What on earth is innovative about that? […]

Read full story

Retail Insider Breakfast – Mark Lewis, online director at John Lewis

Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event with Mark Lewis, online director of John Lewis, who highlighted how his present role will soon become extinct as the channels all converge and e-commerce directors become a “dying breed”. Senior executives from Marks & Spencer, Boohoo.com, Dobbies Garden Centres, and Farfetch were among those who heard how […]

Read full story

If only pure-plays had stores

Hardly a week goes by without some news of a pure-play about to open a physical store or rumours circlulating that a big-gun of the online world is investigating joining the multi-channel fraternity through adding bricks and mortar. This has been particularly prevalent in fashion and the reason is because the online-only guys have significantly […]

Read full story

World Retail Congress say hello to Alcoholics Anonymous

When senior executives from established retailers convene around a table or share a conference platform it can often feel like a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous where the group gain some comfort and solace from sharing their experiences and problems. But it is not alcohol that is the problem for these business leaders at the moment […]

Read full story

From auction to fixed price in only 20 years for EBay

Time flies when you’re having fun. Can it really be 20 years since Pierre Omidyar created eBay and sold the very first item on what was then a rather unusual beast – an online marketplace. Since then there have been marketplaces opened up by all and sundry but none have gained the presence that eBay […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – T2

  The Name: T2. The Place: It’s Australia-based (with 60 stores in the country) but well and truly over here now. Six outlets in the capital from old money Chelsea to new money Shoreditch and opening fresh outlets like topsy. It’s all so exhausting I need to put the kettle on for a nice cup […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Simon Harrow, CEO, Elevaate

Simon Harrow, CEO, Elevaate. 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Elevaate has an exciting year ahead. Our core platform is delivering for our customers but there are so many legacy tools holding retailers back. The prospect of building an increasingly innovative and intelligent SaaS platform for retailers and suppliers to grow their […]

Read full story

Pop-ups now a permanent retail fixture

When pop-ups first appeared on the retail landscape they seemed to have more than a whiff of short-term fad about them. They looked to be a very temporary solution to fill the numerous empty shop spaces that had become features across the UK’s high streets in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008. Brands […]

Read full story

Oddbins romps up table of top performing online drinks retailers in August

Oddbins has shot up the table of the Top UK drinks websites in August, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse, to earn it a place just outside the top five. This is a rapid turnaround for the retailer that was languishing in 21st spot in May with a score […]

Read full story

Start-ups need to show a clean pair of heels

Making a return visit to the young meat retailer Muddy Boots as it begins to grow-up has thrown some interesting light on the challenges faced by a typical start-up and how important it is to constantly flex the model. Having initially been a branded supplier to Ocado and Waitrose of meat products the company 15 […]

Read full story

Made.com looks to make its multi-channel mark

It is not exactly a small time aspiration to become a pan-European rival to global behemoth IKEA but this is the aim of Made.com as it says it is targeting former customers of the flat-pack and meatball specialist. The raising of £38 million last week will have done its cause no harm at all as […]

Read full story

Disabled Access Day – boosting the ‘purple pound’

Retailers have made great strides in improving disabled access over the past few years but there is still much more that can be done. Thousands of businesses are losing out on revenue by not offering adequate disabled access. The former Minister for Disabled People claimed last year that UK high streets could be overlooking £212 […]

Read full story

Selfridges storms up the table of top 25 UK drinks websites

Selfridges climbs into the top 10 of the table of the Top UK drinks websites in July, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse, which marks a remarkable improvement. It moves up nine places to seventh spot with a score of 4.02 out of 10 compared with 3.20 in June. […]

Read full story

Retailers begin to admit the true cost of click & collect

Avoiding cliches is a major rule in journalism but I’m forgetting that now because the recent decision by John Lewis to impose a £2 charge on click & collect orders just has to be described as throwing the cat among the pigeons. The reality is that for most retailers fulfilling online orders – in a […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Pirch

The Name: Pirch The Place: It’s an American concern with eight showrooms dotted around the big cities. The Story: Who hasn’t seen that really funny joke on social media which goes along the lines of: “Just been to the toilet in B&Q…Mind you not sure the staff liked it – seems they’re not plumbed in.” […]

Read full story

Michael Durbridge, director of omni-channel, B&Q

Michael Durbridge, director of omni-channel, B&Q 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? We’ve the right mix of a large number of stores and ambitions for digital growth. We kicked off our five-year digital plan two years ago and believe the home improvement market is big and made for digital. People research, they […]

Read full story

Retail Insider Wine Event – Jon Rudoe, digital & technology director at Sainsbury’s + Julia Stafford, founder of Wine Pantry

Retail Insider held its latest Event this week – a combined talk by Jon Rudoe, digital & technology director at Sainsbury’s, discussing the challenges and opportunities of multi-channel, and an English Wine Tasting with Julia Stafford, founder of Wine Pantry. Senior executives from John Lewis, Moss Bros, Made.com, and Snow + Rock were among those […]

Read full story

Can we hope for mid-paced fashion?

We’ve all heard of fast fashion but what about slow fashion? It’s an emerging trend that looks to reduce waste through encouraging fewer purchases of clothing, drive greater use of environment-friendly materials, and promote an embracing of ethical sourcing practices. Slow fashion involves a more pedestrian supply chain hence the name. This ultimately means it […]

Read full story

Oddbins stages comeback in table of top 25 UK drinks websites

Oddbins was the most improved drinks retail website in the table of the Top UK drinks websites in June, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse. It moved up 10 places to 11th spot with a score of 3.58 out of 10 compared with 2.32 in May that prompted a […]

Read full story

Even mighty IKEA recognises the winds of change

In only the past couple of months there has been a stream of announcements from IKEA that all contribute to what it has been describing as its ‘transformational agenda’. It announced the opening of its smallest retail location so far – in Canada, it opened a pop-up breakfast-in-bed cafe in East London where beds could […]

Read full story

Digital Wildfire takes hold

Over the years the extent of the digital landscape of retailers has grown like ‘digital wildfire’ and can to some extent be viewed as a real threat to their future capabilities. For retail this presents an emerging and what is becoming a significant problem Retailers must have an understanding of what exactly constitutes their entire […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Argos

The Name: Argos The Place: Oh everywhere. Almost everyone lives within ten miles of an Argos store apparently. The Story: Innovation, you say. Argos, you say. It can’t be done, you say. Actually I haven’t… Well, this column is about to prove to you once and for all that a big company with a catalogue […]

Read full story

Doddle ranked top digital retail innovation 2015

Doddle has been ranked the leading innovation in the second annual ‘Retail Insider Digital Retail Innovations’ report 2015 ahead of Starbucks pay ahead app and Waitrose Hiku home scanning solution. The high placing of Doddle reflects the prominence of logistics solutions in this year’s report and highlights how retailers are still grappling with fulfilment and […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Steve Robinson, CEO, Achica

Steve Robinson, CEO, Achica 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Younger business are fortunate not to have the same constraints as older ones; difficult to exit leases, hard to change cultures, historical pension commitments, expensive to change legacy systems etc. Starting with a clean sheet of paper allows you to be agile, […]

Read full story

Retailers must embrace digital

Far too many retailers are unskilled in the area of digital and this puts them in a sufficiently precarious position as to threaten their very existences. The mindsets of executives at the top of a whole raft of retailers must be changed if their companies are to fully grasp the challenges and opportunities of digital […]

Read full story

Big book catalogues reach final chapter

Even very recently catalogues were seen as integral to the likes of Shop Direct, N. Brown and Argos – with millions of them distributed each year. But the acceleration of online sales has dramatically reduced these retailers’ reliance on paper-based catalogues over the past few years. Such has been the extent of the internet’s impact […]

Read full story

Retail Insider Beer Tasting Event – with Robin Phillips, omni-channel and development director, Boots UK + Paddy Johnson, co-founder, Windsor & Eton Brewery

  Retail Insider has held its latest event – combining a tutored Beer Tasting with Paddy Johnson of Windsor & Eton Brewery and a talk by Robin Phillips, omni-channel and development director at Boots UK – that highlighted both the vibrancy of the UK beer scene and the opportunities for retailers from developing multi-channel propositions. Senior […]

Read full story

Poundland looking for certainty with 99p Stores purchase

There are few certainties in business and the retail sector specifically operates in an environment where there are now ever fewer guarantees. Where once growth was driven by simply adding physical stores, today’s digital world means things are a lot more complicated. What might have been regarded as a rare certainty was a green light […]

Read full story

Naked Wines suffers poor online performance in May

As Naked Wines is acquired by Majestic Wines its website endures a disastrous month with its performance deteriorating dramatically to push it way down the table of the Top UK drinks websites in May, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse. It slipped 19 places to the bottom of the […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Jon Wragg, director of e-commerce and marketing at Supergroup

Jon Wragg, director of e-commerce and marketing at Supergroup 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? The greatest opportunity never changes – it is to continue to create product that our customers love, and to give them access to that product and to our Brand through whatever medium they choose.   We are fortunate in that we […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Mast Brothers

The Name: Mast Brothers The Place: New York City, London and soon to be Los Angeles. And expanding. The Story: Let me ask you a question. What’s the definition of a difficult sell? Well, let’s see, there’s snow and Eskimos: Harder. Coals and Newcastle. Harder. Give up: Trying to get people to part with £8 […]

Read full story

Retail’s disastrous use of social media

Arguably the most important customers to retailers are those whose spending power will increase over time and who therefore represent the future revenue streams of merchants.   These are the younger generation and it is they who are, not surprisingly most courted by retailers, advertisers, and brand owners. Everybody wants their custom. What connects these […]

Read full story

Unwanted self-service checkouts in the shopping area

For years shoppers have been told that they really do like to use self-service checkouts. But do they? Well, judging by the findings of a recent bit of research by Morrisons, consumers don’t actually like self-service checkouts. In fact, it found a whopping 96% of its customers prefer to use a staffed checkout. Not surprisingly […]

Read full story

Beer Insider joins Retail Insider stable

As many friends and readers of Retail Insider will know the editor Glynn Davis also writes about beer and pubs for a number of publications and has on occasion slipped such aspects into Retail Insider. For those people out there who found those pieces of interest then you might like to know that a sister […]

Read full story

Delivering the Holy Grail in the land of hype?

The Americans have a reputation for selling well and have managed to become world renowned for their ability to convince us of the worth of their products and services – with hype playing its part in this. There are few areas where things are as over-sold and over-hyped as technology – especially in Silicon Valley. […]

Read full story

Viewpoint – Transformational month for fashion retail

If there was ever a sign that the world of online fashion has grown up it came this past month with luxury fashion retailers Yoox and Net-A-Porter announcing their merger. There is no other way of describing this bit of corporate activity other than transformational. Not only for the parties directly involved but also for […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – David Walmsley, director at M&S.com

David Walmsley, director, M&S.com 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? How we join together the physical and digital experiences of M&S for our customers. 2. What is the biggest challenge to your business? For the digital channels, the challenge remains being obsessive about listening to our customers and then turning the insight […]

Read full story

Fortnum & Mason and Iceland slip down table of top performing UK drinks sites in April

They might operate at different ends of the pricing spectrum but both F&M and Iceland suffered declines in their website’s performances in the table of the Top UK drinks sites in March, according to analysis undertaken exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse. F&M slipped eight places to 19th spot with a score of […]

Read full story

Viewpoint – Keep changing the proposition to stay relevant

Pret A Manger is a pretty successful business as evidenced by its recent results that showed it enjoying strong sales growth of 16% for 2014 – it has been in the double-digits annually for some years. But like any decent business the company continues to challenge itself in order that it does not go stale […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Cannibal NYC

The Name: Cannibal NYC The Place: New York City The Story: This is the tale of how you can buy a unit with one purpose in mind only to find it hijacked by the customer who has quite different ideas about what they want you to do with it. Cannibal is a B&B with a […]

Read full story

Retail Insider Breakfast – Bertrand Bodson, chief digital officer at Home Retail Group + Gillian Drakeford, country manager for UK & Ireland at IKEA

Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event this week with Gillian Drakeford, country manager for UK & Ireland at IKEA, and Bertrand Bodson, chief digital officer at Home Retail Group, who discussed the future of the physical store. Senior executives from John Lewis, The White Stuff, TM Lewin, The Entertainer, Cook and Farfetch were among […]

Read full story

Kingfisher boss doing it her way – but is it right

  All new bosses look to make their mark early in their tenures at the top but it is questionable whether some of their more radical moves are always relevant. Are they sometimes merely making changes for changes sake. The decision by new Kingfisher CEO Véronique Laury to rejig her top team’s responsibilities and restructure […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Alison Lancaster, interim marketing director, McArthurGlen Group

  Alison Lancaster, interim marketing director, McArthurGlen Group 1. What is the greatest opportunity for retail businesses? To digitally transform their businesses in order to better serve customers anytime, anywhere, anyhow. Digital transformation will be a brand differentiator and essential ‘enabler’ for retailers (new and old) to compete and win on a global scale. This […]

Read full story

Viewpoint – Dragging furniture into the digital era

  Furniture is bulky, it’s not a particularly frequent purchase, and arguably such high value items require a bit of touching-and-feeling before customers commit to making a purchase.   This suggests the category is not particularly well suited to online transactions. Not so it seems as there has certainly been some action in this area […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Audi City

  The Name: Audi The Place: Very selected showrooms: Piccadilly in London and also Beijing and Berlin. The Story: So the thing with selling cars is this – they’re big and you can’t get many into a small showroom and the rents on a large city showroom would be astronomical. And then, oh dear, you […]

Read full story

Viewpoint – Easter puts spring into step of garden centres

  Retail Insider and K3 Retail bring you a monthly column taking a look at some of the most pertinent and interesting topics of the day in the big wide world of retail. Easter is almost upon us and the big action in the retail sector is without doubt happening in the gardening sector. Apparently we […]

Read full story

Changing world but consumer demands remain consistent

Retailers might well be adapting at a rapid rate in order to keep up with digital trends but they can at least console themselves with the fact consumers the world over all seem to have the same requirements. The over-arching demand is for convenience. From Australia to China via Russia they all want shopping to […]

Read full story

Bargain Booze regains crown as top performing UK drinks site in March

  Bargain Booze reclaims the top spot as the best performing UK drinks website this month while The Wine Society crashes down the ranked table, according to tests conducted on the online stores of the top drinks sellers in March exclusively for Retail Insider by online specialist Sitemorse. The value operator moved up four places […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Matt Stead, multi-channel director, Pets at Home

Matt Stead, multi-channel director, Pets at Home 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Continue to be totally focused on our customers and their needs. 2. What is the biggest challenge to your business? It’s a retail business there are always exciting challenges in every area of the business. In the multi – […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Nadia Shouraboura, founder of Hointer

Guest international Multi-channel/e-commerce Movers & Shakers Q&A:   Nadia Shouraboura, founder, Hointer  1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Definitely to unleash the power of in-store shopping by bringing the best of online technologies to physical stores. It’s a great opportunity for Hointer and for my fellow retailers. While with Amazon, for many […]

Read full story
css.php