High street names looking for net gains
(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Not long ago, retailers were preoccupied by acquiring more and more stores. It used to cause a right old stink (particularly with the supermarkets), but now that a glorified version of mail order is back in vogue this dash for more shops seems oddly quaint.
Tesco is so worried that internet shopping will make its vast warehouses even more unattractive places to shop that it spent pounds 50m last week in the hope that the prospect of a Giraffe burger (it's the brand, not a food scandal) will make a trip to the supermarket a family day out. If that shows how desperate things have become, we will get another reminder about the growing influence of internet retailing this week with two key clothing companies updating the City.
The biggest of these will be Next - which you may have noticed still possesses the odd store. That's fine, but the City is more interested in the website, a business perfected years ago with Next Directory and which prompted a Panmure Gordon upgrade last week.
Then comes pure internet retailer Asos, which is expected to continue impressing, as well as unveiling a US warehouse plus updates on new websites in Russia and China. It's a sign of how fashionable Asos has become that these projects are viewed as exciting. For other sectors, they'd be risky.
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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