Comeback kid: shops take the limelight as Amazon prepares to open its first

If there’s a theme to today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, it’s the important role that shops still hold in multichannel retailing, just a few years after many commentators predicted the death of the high street.

We report today how even online pin-up Amazon seems to be on the verge of opening its first shop. Is this a tacit admission that shops deliver immediate gratification in a way that, honestly, no pureplay can? The news comes in the same week that N Brown Group unveiled fast growth in its new sales channel – the store. Perhaps it’s not online that delivers greater sales, but more and convenient choice of ways to buy.

On this theme we also report on the balance that retailers must strike between stores and digital, according to Bob Steelhammer of private equity business Sun Capital Partners.

All of these are instances of the kind of transformation that will be addressed in this year’s Internet Retailing Conference, where leading industry figures will be asking why and how transformation happens in retail. This week we also report on progress post-merger at Dixons Carphone, while today’s guest comment comes from Katy Keim of Lithium, who considers the role of communities in online retail.

Our webinars Click to visit the Internet Retailing webinars page to find out about any upcoming webinars and to catch up on any that you may have missed.

Our conference Our next big event is the Internet Retailing Conference, to be held on October 14 at the Novotel, Hammersmith, London. Keynote speakers confirmed so far include Mark Lewis, online director, John Lewis, Andy Harding, executive director, multichannel at House of Fraser, and Jérôme Cochet, senior vice president sales at Zalando.

The conference takes the theme of Re-foundation, and will be keynoted by retailers who have led transformation within their business as their product sector or the retail landscape have evolved. Find out more at Catch-up on IRX 2014 If you missed an Internet Retailing Expo 2014 presentation that you’d like to catch up on, you can do so now through the post-event website.

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