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.matthew’s retail roundup

By Matthew Valentine

Those who wrote off ‘old-fashioned’ supermarkets when everybody shopped online because of the pandemic may need to rethink.

Online orders, next day delivery, click & collect… they are all fantastic. And when they stop working they leave both retailers and consumers utterly bereft. It is likely that this will happen increasingly often.

Competition is so tough in the retail sector that companies are taking the gloves off. Tesco and Lidl are arguing about circles.

The money splashed out by UK consumers shopping in stores and online during January is being credited for an overall improvement in the state of the country’s economy.

Last June, this column considered the possible reputational damage to retailers which had failed to pay some of their staff the National Minimum Wage.

There’s always a shimmer of excitement that runs through the retail sector when a big acquisition deal is on the cards.

Sadly, the news of imminent job losses at The Body Shop comes as no surprise. But it does highlight how perilous a career in retail can be.

Coverage of the problems currently faced by The Body Shop highlights several factors that are all too familiar when retail brands face administration.

That is not hyperbole. Figures from The Co-Op show it experienced a 44% increase in retail crime during 2023.

Some big challenges for retailers, years in the making, will finally make themselves felt over the coming months. For the retail sector, it’s (another) crunch time for Brexit.