TCS Retail Sector Update – June 2018
Footfall figures have seen a slight improvement on that of previous months. This is likely to be a consequence of shopping trips being deferred from April, when the weather continued to be cold and wet. Recent May figures from the British Retail Consortium reveal that retail parks saw growth of 0.5% while high street footfall rose by 0.6%. However, shopping centres continued to see significant YoY declines, posting a fall of 2.9%.
Retailers continue to find innovative ways to bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping, creating an omni-channel experience. Harvey Nichols recently partnered up with retail technology company Hero to bring live shopping capabilities to online consumers and allow them to connect with in-store stylists. M&S and Microsoft have also partnered to create an AI initiative. The partnership will see the two businesses work together to explore how the technology can be used within the retail environment to improve the customer experience and optimise operations.
We’re seeing more retailers putting a focus on climate change. The Environmental Audit Committee is currently investigating the carbon footprint, resource use and water footprint of clothing throughout its life cycle. It will be looking at ideas on how clothes can be recycled, and waste and pollution reduced. The objective is to look at how the fashion industry can remodel itself to be both thriving and sustainable. The deadline for written submissions for the inquiry is 3rd September.
One retailer putting sustainability at the heart of what it does is IKEA, which is aiming to use only renewable and recycled materials in its products. The retail giant is also focusing on services and on offering products that help people maintain their existing IKEA pieces for longer.
Instagram saw big changes in June, with the launch of its long-form video service called IGTV in an attempt to lure younger viewers away from YouTube. Content on IGTV has a time-limit of an hour. The initiative comes as Facebook struggles to attract teens. This month, Instagram also added shopping capabilities to stories. Brands can now plug their products on Instagram Stories via a shopping bag icon that users can tap on. Instagram says 300 million of its more than 540 million daily users interact with Stories every day, and will be a new way for brands to capitalise on the many eyeballs who watch Stories.
Feel free to contact us for the full June Retail Sector Update.
Media Account Manager