Online grows its part in retail as store sales fall back

Strong online growth is a pattern among the IRUK Top500 retailers that we report on in today’s InternetRetailing newsletter.

Bonmarché, JD Sports and Debenhams all reported online sales growth in updates

this week. But overall sales were down at Debenhams and Bonmarché. Bonmarché showed that its store sales fell significantly over the last year, holding back overall sales despite ecommerce growth of more than 30%.

It’s a pattern that’s also evident in retail sales figures for March out today. Both the ONS and IMRG detected double digit growth over the last month. But overall retail sales grew modestly in March, compared to last year, the ONS figures showed, and fell back compared to the previous month.

All this provides further evidence that the balance of shopping is moving still further online, and that’s set to throw up questions for retailers around what their stores are now for. Debenhams’ strategy is towards social shopping, using mobile to bridge the gap between the store and online. JD Sports, which is seeing strong sales growth across its platforms, puts that success down to a multichannel proposition, allied to buying, merchandising and retail approaches that have, says chairman Peter Cowgill, “led to the creation of a world-class sports fashion business which combines the best of physical and digital retail on an increasingly global scale.”

Meanwhile, we take a look at how Primark continues to buck the online trend by staying resolutely store-only and still reports growing sales, and we report on how retailers are missing an £18bn opportunity in their abandoned baskets.

Today’s guest comment comes from Philippe Aime of Convertize who considers the role of psychology in personalisation.

The 6th Ecommerce Cup
The new-look expanded event – now able to cater for up to 50 teams – is to be held on June 21. This is the sixth annual Ecommerce Cup, in which Tamebay is joined by sister publications InternetRetailing and eDelivery to host the event.

The expansion comes after the cup was last year oversubscribed, with so many players taking part that the pre-match briefing had to be held on the pitch.

This year’s 2018 Ecommerce Cup will again be held in Shepherd’s Bush – where the entire venue has been booked out – and is now open for bookings, with places allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to find out more and sign up.

Webinars Find out more about upcoming InternetRetailing webinars and register for free on the InternetRetailing webinar page. You can also catch up with past webinars on the page: recent sessions have come from IBM Watson on using AI to improve the customer experience, and from SmartFocus and The Entertainer on using social to reach digital customers.

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