Online retail news in brief (10 October 2018)


In case you missed them, we’ve pulled together a few online retail news highlights from around the web this week.

Here are some of the latest stories in online retail.


Waitrose trials deliveries while you’re out

Attempts to streamline the delivery process has, until now, had a dependent variable: the recipient. But Waitrose are now set to become the first supermarket to exact a seamless delivery, by eliminating the presence of the buyer altogether and delivering groceries while nobody is in the house.

The new initiative, titled ‘While You’re Away’, is being tested with 100 customers in south London, with a view to expansion in spring 2019 if the trial proves a success.

The innovation requires Yale smart lock technology, which would temporarily allow a Waitrose driver access to the house. The intention is for chilled and frozen foods to be put away, and other foods to be left for the buyer’s discretion. The entire delivery is filmed, and shoppers can request a copy of the footage.

Waitrose states that the service has been established to offer an unprecedented level of convenience to those customers with particularly busy lifestyles.

Tesco to remove more best before dates from fruit and vegetables

Tesco are removing the ‘best before’ dates on another 116 items of produce, after erasing the guidance dates on 70 fruits and vegetables earlier this year.

The move comes after a survey commissioned by the supermarket chain found a generally favourable attitude towards the removal of best before dates: 69% of customers said they support the idea, while 53% claimed they believe it saves perfectly edible food from going to waste.

Mark Little, Head of Food Waste Reduction, Tesco: ‘Removing best before dates is our way of making it easier for customers to reduce food waste at home and save money in the process. It’s simply not right that food goes to waste and we’re going to do everything we can to help.’

Retail pessimism hits levels not seen since recession

With Britain perched on the cusp of its departure from the EU, 4 out of 5 of the UK’s leading retail chairmen have stated they aren’t ready for the transition.

This is according to research from Korn Ferry, which has quantified the views of 34 leading retail chairman and stated that pessimism about the future of retail has hit its highest levels since the 2012 recession.

Sarah Lim, Managing Director of Retail, Korn Ferry: ‘Many traditional retailers are fighting a battle on multiple fronts. Brexit is the headline issue, but with multiple industry challenges, not least an unresolved issue on business rates, heightened competition from online players and an uneven tax system, the call-out to Government to listen and take action has never been louder.’

Hot summer boosts UK economy

An expected figure, perhaps, but the Office for National Statistics have this week confirmed speculation over summer’s retail boom, finding that the UK economy grew by 0.7% in the three months to August.

According to the ONS, the three-month measure was the fastest pace of growth since February 2017. However, following the summer ascension, GDP growth was flat in August.

Retail, food and drink, and house-building were the leading performers during the period, however ‘long-term growth continues to lag behind its historical trend’ according to Rob Kent-Smith, Head of GDP, ONS.

Banksy painting Girl With Red Balloon self-destructs after £1m sale

The paint poltergeist that generally haunts the UK and goes by the name of Banksy this week proved that, alongside the ability to conjure illustrative social commentary at random, it can also cause shredders to materialise at will.

This was demonstrated in particularly emotive fashion at an auction house this week, after it elected to shred one of its own paintings which had just been sold for more than £1m. The destruction of a prized artwork has been met with a resounding response of ‘classic Banksy’.

Now Banksy has evolved into meta-Banksy, one imagines it’s only a matter of time before the socio-political spectre does something truly anti-establishment, like drawing on an Uber or shredding a Pret chicken caesar.

Girl with red balloon shredded

Meta Banksy

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