Retail sales rise 0.7% in June


Sales in June give some hope for what was otherwise a gloomy retail landscape this year. However, though sales volumes rose by 0.7% last month, retailers mustn’t rest on their laurels. Margins will continue to be squeezed as the UK continues its battle with inflation, and while retailers can’t absorb all the inflationary costs, they can become more agile.

Something retailers should look to invest in is a strong, tech-driven, marketplace model. Building a strong marketplace model from the ground up will be a challenge – it could take years before they begin to replicate successful designs like ASOS. However, as consumers become more digital by the day, this poses a significant opportunity. Big retailers like Primark, which hasn’t traditionally had an online presence, are already catching onto this and increasing investment into their digital footprint with resources like online stock checkers.

The grocery industry is now also trying to use the digital marketplace model, but it will be hard to replicate the success seen in fashion retail, where the earliest adoption has been. Instead, supermarkets should focus their efforts on online subscription schemes to stay attractive to more digital-minded consumers and build brand loyalty, allowing them to receive monthly products and the latest deals seamlessly. This would also help to create new revenue streams, doing core business in a different, more digital way.

For retailers, it’s time to undergo a mindset switch when it comes to digitalisation – retail tech is no longer just a cost saver – it’s a revenue driver.