The Managing Director of UK retail giant John Lewis has altered his original predictions regarding the growth of e-commerce, having originally said that 2020 would be the year online sales begin to outstrip physical shop sales. Andy Street’s prediction has now been brought forward a year, and within just over three years John Lewis expects to hit this milestone, despite being famous in the UK for its iconic department stores.
The announcement from John Lewis was careful to assert that this is not a massive surprise or a change to their plans, but merely an indication that things really are moving quickly. They have tripled the number of staff dedicated to developing IT systems over the past six years, and put six times as much investment into their plans in the same time period. In the near future another half a billion is set to be invested by the retailer, ensuring the systems required to support an exponential increase in e-commerce are in place.
There has been a noticeable increase in e-commerce for many years now, but attitudes in the retail industry have changed quickly in recent years. Retailers are gradually realising that online sales are not an optional extra they can tap into if needed, but rather an essential element for any business looking to expand in the future. Black Friday in 2015 was a big indicator that John Lewis also cited, as the vast majority of people abandoned fighting crowds on the high street and took to the Internet to grab bargains. Traditional retailers across the board reported disappointing sales in physical stores after failing to adapt in time, and even the biggest players in the UK retail industry are still scrambling to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
Does this mean traditional retail displays, visual merchandising and advertising your physical shop are becoming redundant? We certainly don’t think so, and in fact all the strongest brands in the sector are constantly developing a multi-faceted approach. Even Amazon, the definitive icon of online shopping in the 2010s, has been increasingly branching out into plans for physical stores and making their regional services more and more local. At Valentino’s Displays we firmly believe that the future of retail is in a combination of excellent branding and a willingness to adapt to your market, so shopping for retail display equipment with us and taking advantage of our competitive pricing is a great strategy to start with. Follow our blog for more updates and exciting developments in the world of retail, keep up with Valentino’s on social media or start shopping right now!