Lets get Digital and Online rather than Physical in Bricks & Mortar

A couple of holiday headlines successfully caught our attention:

  • “Digital entertainment exceeds £1bn in sales for the first time”
  • “Online sales for the five weeks were 44.3 per cent up on last year. Johnlewis.com now accounts for a quarter of the total John Lewis business”.

Looking initially at the John Lewis Partnership in their press release straight forwardly titled “John Lewis Christmas trading statement – five weeks to 29 December 2012” they report a huge increase in online sales and it looks as if overall tablets may have played an important part as “Compared with last year, Electricals and Home Technology sales were 30.9 per cent up”.

Their MD Andy Street says ‘The success of our online operation and our pre-eminence as an omni-channel retailer cannot be underestimated. Sales at johnlewis.com broke through the £800m milestone during December supported by an excellent performance from our Click and Collect facility which allows customers the flexibility to buy online and collect from John Lewis and Waitrose outlets”. We prefer multi to omni as unfortunately THE word of 2012 springs to mind!

Elsewhere this outstanding performance is attributed by Econsultancy to 14 different reasons ranging from aggressive online advertising through website excellence, mobile competence, free in store wifi and its multichannel strategy, to starting it’s Christmas sale early.

They certainly as a group are gathering an enviable online reputation and have picked up PayPal’s etail award for the best multichannel retailer of 2012.

ERA’s figures are interesting if one digs a little further. We do like the physical v digital differentiation for this market.

So Digital is the only area showing growth BUT it still (to us) only has just under 25% of the overall market and in video terms only just over 6%.

Looking back at some of ERA’s historic reports for 2011 they did a bricks and mortar v’s online comparison which gives unsurprisingly a totally different picture. The figures are marginally different but do, we think highlight the digital/online divide.

We are always surprised at the size of the games market but that’s likely because we aren’t gamers!

Much more disruption to come we think!


With many of us are still recovering from the spend/foodfest here’s a little inspiration to help us along on the “Physical” front with Glee!


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