Day Headlines in Shopping news: 2012-02-23

  • Shopping and the internet: Making it click (The Economist Online Shopping 2012-02-23 17:07:45)
    Print sectionUK Only Article: standard articleIssue: Bombing IranFly Title: Shopping and the internetLocation: NEW YORKMain image: Order online, pay cash in storeOrder online, pay cash in storeTERRY LUNDGREN and Kevin Ryan know and like each other. But when it comes to the future of retailing the boss of Macy's, an American department-store giant, and the chief executive of Gilt Groupe, an online retailer, disagree wildly. Mr Lundgren remains a firm believer in an empire of bricks and mortar. Mr Ryan is betting big on online-only selling.“It used to be catalogues killing physical stores, then it was TV shopping and now it is online retail,” says Mr Lundgren. Although he will not be pinned down on whether the internet is a threat to shopkeepers or an opportunity for them, he is convinced that his chain is on the right path. Macy's is embracing “omnichannel” integration, that is, selling stuff on television, through mail-order catalogues and online, as well as keeping its ...
  • Retailers and the internet: Clicks and bricks (The Economist Online Shopping 2012-02-23 17:07:45)
    Print sectionUK Only Article: standard articleIssue: Bombing IranFly Title: Retailers and the internetMain image: 20120225_LDP003_0.jpg“WE TEND to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run,” observed Roy Amara, an American futurologist. This is certainly proving true of retailers and their attitude to the internet. After a panic at the turn of the millennium about the impact on their industry of online shopping, bricks-and-mortar stores settled into making only modest alterations to their business model or, ostrich-like, trying to ignore it. Few have so far made the radical changes needed to meet the threats from, and tap the enormous potential of, e-commerce (see article).Such inaction threatens retailers' survival. Online sales are now approaching $200 billion a year in America. Their share of total retail sales is creeping up relentlessly, from 5% five years ago to 9% now. People in their 20s and 30s do about a quarter of their shopping online. True, few ladies who lunch will buy their ...