Online retail sales suppressed in January
Online retail recorded its worst January sales growth - up 7 per cent year-on-year - in three years last month, as the industry’s poor recent sales performance continued into the New Year. The latest IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index showed that the month provided little relief to retailers on the back of December’s all-time low sales growth, as it recorded just over half the growth figure achieved during January last year (13.9 per cent).
JD.com and Rakuten trial unmanned delivery
China’s largest retailer JD.com, and e-commerce solutions provider Rakuten, have signed an agreement that will see the former’s drones and autonomous delivery robots utilised in the latter’s unmanned delivery solutions in Japan. Rakuten launched its drone delivery service in 2016, and has gained experience through trials in collaboration with corporate partners and local governments. In 2018, its first delivery was conducted using a combination of drones and autonomous delivery robots, in a step toward solving the last mile challenge for the logistics sector in Japan.
Vilebrequin upgrades e-commerce tech with Cegid
Luxury swimwear brand Vilebrequin has upgraded its international unified commerce capabilities with a new omnichannel solution from Cegid. The retailer has a long-standing partnership with Cegid, having already integrated its network of resellers onto one platform in 2003, and latterly updating its back-office systems - from procurement to merchandising, inventory, deliveries and billing - using Yourcegid Retail.
Asda named worst for online shopping by Which?
Asda has been named the worst supermarket for online grocery delivery in a Which? survey of shoppers. Online-only supermarket Ocado came out top for home delivery, according to the poll of more than 12,000 consumers, while Asda was at the bottom of online rankings, with a rating of 65 per cent, after customers complained of food substitution in their online orders.
UK, NI and Irish retailers warn over Brexit no deal
Retail industry bodies from the UK, Ireland and Northern Ireland have come together to issue a stark warning on how a no-deal Brexit will affect shoppers. With less than 40 days until the UK leaves the European Union, Aodhán Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, Thomas Burke, director of Retail Ireland and William Bain, head of EU and international at the British Retail Consortium, have shared their concerns that a no-deal Brexit will squeeze household budgets and lead to reduced availability of some goods.
Supermarkets top customer experience poll
Retailers’ in-store customer experience (CX) is better than online, according to RetailEXPO research, with one exception; Amazon. The industry event’s organising company surveyed over 2,000 UK consumers, revealing that Tesco delivered the best in-store experience (according to 23 per cent of respondents), followed by Sainsbury’s (18 per cent) and Asda (17 per cent).
MPs call for retailer rates reductions
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has warned that unless this urgent action is taken, further deterioration, loss of visitors and dereliction may lead to some high streets and town centres disappearing altogether. Its report into saving the UK’s High Street by 2030 has therefore proposed a reduction in business rates for High Street retailers and a 12-month ‘holiday’ from rates increases which result from investments to improvements in property.
AO seeks 50 new IT staff
AO World is recruiting over 50 new IT roles across its Bolton and Manchester offices over the next 12 months. In its biggest ever recruitment drive since it was founded in 2000, the online electricals store is looking for everything from software developers and user experience (UX) designers, to business analysts and commercial IT experts to support future growth.
CMA raises concerns over Sainsbury’s Asda merger
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally found extensive competition concerns as part of its in-depth investigation of the proposed merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda. At this stage in its Phase 2 investigation, the regulator reported that the proposed deal could lead to a worse experience for in-store and online shoppers across the UK through higher prices, a poorer shopping experience, and reductions in the range and quality of products offered.
Retailers ‘lag behind in the innovation race’
The retail industry is lagging behind other sectors in several key areas of technology innovation, according to KCOM. The IT services provider surveyed business leaders and c-level decision makers from 250 organisations, finding that retailers give less priority and budget to digital transformation initiatives compared to other industries polled – like government, financial services, healthcare, transport and logistics.
Adyen launches new payment method
Payments platform Adyen has launched a new payment service powered by Open Banking. The service is an alternative to card payments and takes advantage of the European Union’s second Payment Service Directive (PSD2) requirement for banks to create Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for approved third parties to initiate payments on behalf of consumers.