With news of stores closing down (Poundworld, Maplin, Toys’r’Us) and many more facing restructures (House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer), it’s no secret that 2018 was a tough year for retail. Even the weather’s been against us, the Beast from the East and the summer heat wave also had a significant impact on the high street as customers shied away from the shops.
You may have seen the news in December that retail was in a bit of a slump. And in December this trend continued. John Lewis had reported a dip in profit, footfall was reportedly on the decline - but then a Christmas miracle. John Lewis Partnership saw an 11% rise in sales in the last week of 2018 compared to the previous year, and reported strong sales on Christmas Eve as customers bought last minute presents.
Actually, it was less a Christmas miracle more a general trend towards food, drink, and experiences. As people stocked up for Christmas at their local Waitrose, John Lewis reaped the benefits as customers put together their perfect Christmas.
And January poses a new opportunity for retail to take advantage of the continuing growth in online shopping and get customers online to grab a bargain in the January sales.
And the fact that one in every five pounds we spend is via the internet presents a great opportunity for us. As more and more of us shop online, the collections and returns market continues to be a key growth area for mails.
December might be over but there’s plenty more time to maximise the opportunity in mails. With more January sales on the way, the busiest time of the year for mails is not over yet.