The most-read Retail Systems stories of 2021

With the end of 2021 in sight, we crunched the numbers to bring you a round-up of Retail Systems’ most popular stories of the year.

In a year when retail was heavily reliant on government support, it’s no surprise that the top story of 2021 was about the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ call for a plan to phase out furlough schemes.

Ahead of the March budget, the organisation said that while support for households and employers needed to be extended with better targets, it was important for recovery that the furlough scheme was phased out as soon as conditions would allow.

A close second was a feature that explored the future of retail and how achieving fluidity across channels is key to survival in the ever-changing retail market. Although this story was published in June, as consumers become increasingly attached to the ease of digital channels, the need for retailers to bridge the gap between online and in-store is still relevant today.

In third place was another long-form piece that sought to find out whether or not 3D printing will revolutionise the fashion industry.

While the technology promises so much, its progression beyond runway couture and museum pieces is slow. The feature identifies a number of reasons why 3D printed garments are being held back from widespread commercialisation.

The next most popular headline asked the question, when it comes to Uyghur forced labour, do government measures go far enough?

The article questioned new guidelines at the time that, although were well-intentioned, did not legally force retailers cut ties with modern slavery. It looked at why these measures are not likely to change things on the ground and explored how retailers should look beyond the legal minimum to rid their supply chains of forced labour.

Finally, in fifth place was a feature which explored what regulation might mean for the future of Buy Now, Pay Later and looked at how the market had responded to the government’s decision to green-light new rules.

Both the growth and criticism of BNPL has dominated headlines this year – especially as in October HM Treasury launched its long-awaited consultation on the regulation of the flexible payment option.

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