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retailers drawing online shoppers into stores with ship-to-store tactic – DC Velocity

October 30, 2018

Approach avoids expensive last-mile delivery, tempts consumers with extra purchases, report says.

By DC Velocity Staff

As retailers head into the make-or-break holiday peak shopping season, many companies will try to cap off a strong year by doubling down on strategies to draw online shoppers into stores, CBRE Group Inc., the Los Angeles-based real estate and logistics services giant, said today.

One of the most common approaches in the effort to combine online and in-store shopping is to offer buy-online/ship-to-store—or BOSS—a fulfillment technique that helps stores avoid expensive, last-mile delivery fees, even as they lure shoppers into brick and mortar stores where they may be tempted to make additional purchases, CBRE said in its annual Holiday Retail Trends Guide.

According to CBRE, BOSS is a refinement of the popular buy-online/pickup-in-store (BOPIS) strategy that allows retailers to ship items to stores that are not regularly stocked there, allowing them to offer more inventory than they could typically stock at a single store.

The two approaches have been rising in popularity, with Zara saying that nearly one-third of its online orders are picked up in-store, The Home Depot using in-store pickups for 47 percent of its online orders, and craft retailer Michaels forecasting that its BOPS and BOSS programs will account for almost half of online sales this holiday season, CBRE said.

An additional retail trend expected this season will be a push by stores to reward customer loyalty in ways aside from discounts. For example, chains such as Macy’s, Kohl’s, Target, Sephora, Nordstrom and Victoria’s Secret are offering exclusive experiences such as invitations to a Fourth of July fireworks show, exclusive cooking classes from famous chefs, or trips to New York Fashion Week, CBRE said.

One more holiday trend described in the report will be an expansion of sales opportunities for toys, as retailers scramble to capture consumer dollars that were put into play by the recent closure of Toys R Us.

The various strategies all feed into one common goal: using enhanced capabilities to seamlessly cater to shoppers in stores, online, and on their mobile devices. “Retailers have been refining and improving their omnichannel playbooks for several years, and those efforts now appear to be paying off,” Melina Cordero, CBRE’s global head of retail research, said in a release. “Several of the trends we see this holiday season – including buy-online/ship-to-store services and enhanced loyalty programs – are designed to encourage and reward shoppers’ use of multiple channels.”

Retailers are optimistic about a busy holiday season, on the heels of recent reports by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and other groups, predicting a 4 percent rise in consumer holiday spending compared to 2017.

“This looks to be a strong holiday season for retail for several reasons,” Brandon Famous, chairman of CBRE’s Global Retail Occupier Executive Committee, said in a statement. “In addition to the tailwinds of the robust economy and strong consumer confidence, retailers as a whole have gotten smarter and more efficient with their omnichannel strategies and their programs for attracting and retaining customers.”


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Online grocery shoppers want within-the-hour delivery – Logistics Manager Magazine

Nearly half of online grocery shoppers say they are willing to pay for within-the-hour delivery of their orders, according to an IGD survey.

The survey found that Londoners (54 per cent ) are most interested in this service compared to only 41 per cent in the south of England. And there is a big difference between different age groups: 71 per cent of 18-24s back the idea compared to only 18 per cent of over-65s.

Vanessa Henry, shopper insight manager at IGD, said: “Much of shoppers’ growing expectations around online retail is focused on the delivery aspect of their food and grocery shopping. One of the main reasons shoppers choose to shop online is because it’s more convenient and quicker than shopping in-store, so as we see more competition between retailers for the quickest delivery times and most convenient services, the next generation of convenient shopper is starting to emerge.”

Shoppers to spend £22.6bn on groceries this Christmas

MyToys handles customs fees for Swiss shoppers

The MyToys Group lets Swiss consumers shop online easier, after it has optimized the ordering and shipping process for its customers in Switzerland. A partnership with Swiss Post enables the German retail company to offer its Swiss customers shorter delivery times, a simpler return process and no customs fees.

It almost looks like multichannel toy retailer MyToys integrates the Swiss into the European Union. Because since the end of last month, customers from Switzerland who shop online in the MyToys store don’t have to pay customs fees anymore.

Changes for Swiss MyToys customers

In order to gain a foothold in Switzerland, MyToys has partnered with Swiss Post. The result: short delivery time and a significantly simpler returns process, Horizont writes. MyToys can process returns faster than before, because it will now be handled in Switzerland. Also from now on, Swiss customers can easily pay VAT in the shop, while customs fees are abandoned completely: the MyToys Group takes over the customs in full.

‘Consumers in Europe want convenience’

“The customer experience is one of the most important sales arguments. Consumers in Europe want convenience, always and everywhere”, says MyToys founder Oliver Lederle. “Together with our new partner, we have intensively pushed ahead with the optimization of our ordering and delivery processes in Switzerland, in order to provide them with an even more convincing shopping experience.”

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CEVA Logistics clicks with Saraiva for Brazilian e-tailer’s e-commerce business

Saraiva, Brazil’s largest online retailer, has chosen CEVA Logistics to support the expansion of its distribution network in south-east Brazil.

From its multi-user warehouse at Extrema in the Minas Gerais municipality, CEVA Logistics will introduce faster working and delivery practices to Saraiva and its customers in the region.

CEVA will manage more than one million products which Saraiva currently offers to the Brazilian market through its e-commerce service and more than 100 physical stores across the country. 

Books, films, computers, accessories, multimedia software, stationery, periodicals and magazines, educational toys and e-readers are just some of the items which will be handled.

CEVA already operates two distribution centres for Saraiva covering more than 24,000 sq m from where it will continue to provide order picking services, warehousing, inventory management and shipping and employs more than 500 staff.

In 2017, more than 30m products were shipped to Saraiva’s stores and more than 10m individual pieces were sold through the e-commerce platform.

The new facility at Extrema will specialize in telephony, computing and accessories and gaming and will be part of the network which will allow Saraiva’s customers to choose a “Turbo Delivery” option where they can place orders for any item up to 3pm and receive delivery the following day.

Douglas Piagentini, business development director CEVA Logistics Brazil, said: “Extrema in the state of Minas Gerais is very well located, which enables easy access to logistic roads for the South, Southeast and Centro-East regions. This allows much faster deliveries of customers’ online purchases from our warehouse to the final destination.”

Alexandre Faria, logistics manager for Saraiva, said: “Through this new distribution center, CEVA Logistics is enabling us to strengthen our unique customer strategy of offering both e-commerce and physical store options. Not only will it provide us with greater agility in domestic deliveries, we will also be able to restock our physical stores faster”.

Read more cargo e-commerce logistics news

Trucker Tools introduces latest upgrades to Smart Capacity platform

  • New “digital assist” online price negotiation tools and workflow streamline price bid and counter offer process; eliminate excess phone calls and emails
  • Shortens price negotiating cycle, reduces downtime waiting for loads, improves accuracy and speed on load pricing
  • Advanced “lane search” tools enable carriers to search by preferred lanes and city pairs, presents current available loads, continually updated, ranking best lane-specific loads highest
  • Utilizes artificial intelligence to analyze historical lane-based business patterns, generates predictive best-option choices; carrier maximizes high-quality repeat loads, increases asset utilization

RESTON, VA – Trucker Tools LLC, which provides shipment visibility, carrier capacity management and predictive freight-matching solutions for the transportation industry, announced the launch of two major feature and function enhancements on the Smart Capacity carrier relationship and capacity management platform. The enhancements include:

Digital-Assist Online Price Negotiation. In traditional industry practice, before a carrier has accepted a load from a broker, a mostly manual process of phone calls and emails ensues as the parties parry back and forth and settle on a price.

Trucker Tools is streamlining this process by integrating into the Smart Capacity platform easy-to-use tools and workflows that allow these negotiations to occur in a secure, private, online forum. With Digital-Assist Online Price Negotiation, brokers can view and consider multiple trucks for a load, then sort into the best options, weeding out those they want to drop. Then, with the click of a mouse, the broker can send carrier-specific pricing to multiple selected carriers at the same time. The carriers, in turn, can respond via their smartphone through the platform with counter offers or acceptance.

The broker no longer is tied up on the phone for extended periods of time making multiple individual phone calls to carriers. At the same time, the carrier also eliminates unproductive calls, and views all current available loads from all brokers on one platform, with far fewer steps required to complete a negotiation and reach an agreeable price for the load with the preferred broker.

“Ultimately, the platform shortens the negotiating cycle, so both carrier and broker get to the right load at the right price quicker and more accurately,” said Prasad Gollapalli, founder and CEO of Trucker Tools. “Once again, we are giving time back to – and taking out costs – for the broker and carrier. That’s additional time which now can be applied to booking more loads and generating more revenue.”

Lane Search. Smart Capacity provides several options by which carriers and owner-operators can search for available loads. The most recent functionality improvement adds the capability to search by specific lanes and city pairs. Searches can be saved for lanes in which carriers want repeat or recurring loads.

Using artificial intelligence tools, the lane search feature goes further. Based on driver and carrier data compiled from the Trucker Tools Mobile Driver App, the software analyzes historical carrier volume and lane patterns, and makes two predictions:

  • What are the carrier’s most popular and sought-after loads and lanes based on history, and;
  • When typically, is that carrier most available by days of the week or time of the month, again, based on historical behavior and operating patterns.

“We are unique in this capability due to the popularity of our mobile smart-phone app with drivers, which gives us years of history on lane volumes and driver preferences,” explained Gollapalli. “We are showing the driver an updated list of available loads in the most desirable lanes at the most desirable times, based on where they’ve historically run in the past. They get the perfect match quicker.”

Over time and as more data is utilized, the match continues to fine-tune. At the end of the day, the software’s analytics and data processing does the heavy lifting. The driver has at his fingertips a list of results presenting best available load in the most desirable lane. The driver is far more productive and spends less idle time searching for loads. “We are proactively showing them quality loads and reloads, so when they reach their destination, they have another load lined up,” said Gollapalli. “And not just any load, but one that precisely matches their historical preferences, profile and geography.”

Since it was introduced in 2013, the Trucker Tools Mobile Driver App has been downloaded by more than 500,000 truckers and is actively used by over 100,000 small fleets and owner-operators.

Lane Search also works for brokers who can input specific city pairs, and search for available capacity based on individual lane configurations. This is a useful feature for brokers whose customers have regular, recurring loads in specific lanes, and who want to keep their preferred carries busy by giving them regular, repeat loads in those lanes.

“The broker can input a specific lane or city-pair, as well as other search parameters, such as preferred carriers, and the platform will return results showing all available trucks in those lanes, where they are currently and a projection of when they will be available for the next load,” noted Gollapalli.

Also, based on artificial intelligence analysis of historical data, the platform generates results showing other carriers and trucks that typically have operated in the broker’s specific, selected lanes. The results present not only available trucks in those selected lanes, but by analyzing past operating behavior and data, makes predictions about where a carrier will likely be and be available in the future. All of which helps the broker more accurately plan and execute on behalf of the shipper.

New Feature Enhancements Continue Progress, Momentum of Platform Improvement

Trucker Tools’ introduction of Digital-Assist Online Price Negotiation and Lane Search follow the roll out earlier this month new broker productivity tools which use natural language processing and machine learning to cut down manual work and automate processing of hundreds of emails brokers receive daily.

The email auto-reader software program automates how hundreds of emails brokers receive from carriers daily advertising trucks available for loads are read and processed. Once it reads, analyzes and parses the emails, key data points are uploaded to the Smart Capacity database, adding fresh, timely information about available trucks. The broker no longer spends hours digging through backlogs of email, often with old information. Stale data is eliminated, and the broker’s planning dashboard is continually refreshed with up-to-date, reliable information on current trucks available to book.

Time from receiving emails into the program, to fresh clean data appearing on the broker’s Smart Capacity dashboard – less than 5 seconds.

Trucker Tools CEO to Present at 2018 McLeod Software User Conference

Prasad Gollapalli will be discussing recent Trucker Tools developments as well as other industry topics at the 2018 McLeod Software User Conference, which opened today in Birmingham, Alabama at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. His breakout session, titled “A New Era Dawns for Brokers: How Technology is Redrawing the Blueprint for Success” is scheduled for Tuesday Oct. 2 at 10:45 a.m. The panel discussion will include representatives from FedEx Custom Critical, Syfan Logistics and Decker Logistics. McLeod’s Power Broker TMS is integrated with Trucker Tools Smart Capacity platform.

Supply chain technologies highlight findings from 2019 Third-Party Logistics Study – Canadian Shipper

Nashville, TN — In an era where technology is continuing to migrate consumer spending habits online and away from brick-and-mortar stores, the newly released 2019 Third-Party Logistics Study (#3PLStudy) highlights how supply chains are also going digital and using science to keep pace.

The publication, available at www.3PLStudy.com, is created and supported by Infosys Consulting, Penn State University, Penske Logistics and Korn Ferry.

Here are a few notable findings from the report, released at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) EDGE conference:

  • What are the top concerns and challenges in regards to supply chain decisions? This can be answered from two different perspectives: the companies that manufacture and distribute goods and services (referred to as shippers in the study) and third-party logistics providers (3PLs). In order, the top nine concerns for shippers: infrastructure; workforce readiness; economic stability; freight/supply chain transparency; lack of strategic partners/suppliers in the region; regulations/tax structure; security/crime/corruption; executive-level talent; border-crossing delays. The list for 3PLs: workforce readiness; infrastructure; economic stability; freight/supply chain transparency; lack of strategic partners/suppliers in region; executive-level talent; security/crime/corruption; regulation/tax structure; border-crossing delays.
  • Shifting consumer buying habits, which include a blend of in-person and online purchases of goods and services, requires quicker responses than the retail model of yesteryear. Shippers recognize the need for agility, but 42 percent of survey respondents said they have not made the required changes to improve their agility over the past five years. Fifty-one percent of participants did say, however, that they are open to new ideas, creating more opportunities for 3PLs to introduce and implement innovations.
  • A key complaint among consumers who choose home or office delivery is that packages become lost more frequently. Within the last mile of the supply chain, defined as the final steps of package delivery to a person’s home or business, exists an undervalued concept known as the last yard. The majority of shippers (71 percent) and third-party firms (72 percent) recognize its influence on key retailer metrics such as consumer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Yet, only roughly a third of all survey takers agreed that companies do enough to effectively manage last yard issues.
  • In any given week, consumers buy products online for home delivery or in-store pickup and also still visit physical stores to make a purchase or return. This shopping blend is known as the omni-channel. Retailers have been working hard to emphasize an always-on, always-open shopping experience that provides seamless interaction across all retail sales channels, and that is creating different demands on all supply chains. In the survey, 38 percent of shippers said they are inconsistent across the omni-channel and 36 percent noted they have no capability in this area. Supply chains are investing in integrated technologies to reverse this trend, which include: enterprise resource planning software (72 percent); warehouse management systems (56 percent); transportation management networks (38 percent); and supply chain visibility tools (34 percent).
  • Disruptions break even the strongest links across supply chains. When disruptions occur due to natural disasters, extreme weather or pandemics, supermarket shelves are missing key household items and products are out-of-stock online. The most common impacts, according to shipper respondents, are increased transportation and logistics costs (75 percent), transportation and logistics network disruptions (73 percent), and higher supplier costs (66 percent). The level of importance that companies and 3PLs place on mitigating these disruptions is greater than five years ago, with 23 percent of shippers and 22 percent of 3PLs scoring it significantly greater. The study notes that two major tools that companies and third-party logistics organizations can utilize to minimize disruptions are visibility tools (61 percent of shippers and 67 percent of 3PLs) and partnerships (72 percent and 64 percent, respectively). In the area of predictive analytics, 33 percent of 3PLs and 17 percent of companies are making use of these cutting-edge tools.
  • Data sharing between shippers and 3PLs become increasingly important. The key to a successful 3PL-shipper relationship is the foundation-building accomplished during the request for proposal (RFP) process. It ensures that both the short-term and long-term goals of both parties are clearly understood and reasonable expectations are set in the relationship. In the study, 36 percent of shippers and 35 percent of 3PLs agreed that there are opportunities to improve the sharing of insight and data collected by the sales team with account management.

Ken Toombs, global head of Infosys Consulting stated, “The last mile in the world of logistics has quickly become one of the most mission-critical areas for shippers to address, as issues that occur here have major impact on brand perception, reputation and customer satisfaction. A mix of enhanced data along with emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, can play a key role in meeting the ever-increasing demands of today’s enterprise customers.”

Joe Carlier, senior vice president of global sales for Penske Logistics, stated the following in reference to supply chain shifts that come in a market of tightening capacity: “When there is no capacity, those conversations change. Today the focus is on maximizing utilization and resources as they are becoming more limited and moving products to the end user in the most economical way.”

Meredith Moot, principal at Korn Ferry, suggested that change is the only constant in the supply chain today. “The continuous transformation of the supply chain due to technology, regulations or other factors only exacerbates the talent challenges in an already tight labor market. Whether you’re looking for an innovation leader or a frontline employee, you have to think about attracting, retaining and training talent to build your workforce in a new, dynamic way.”

Since 1996, this study has documented the transformation of the third-party logistics industry. Dr. C. John Langley, clinical professor, supply chain information systems and director of development, Center for Supply Chain Research at Smeal College of Business at The Pennsylvania State University, initiated this study to capture and measure this evolving industry. As part of this year’s survey process, the study recorded over 650 respondents. The 2019 study, as well as an archive of previous publications, is available at www.3PLStudy.com.

Micolet sells second-hand fashion across Europe

Micolet is a new online marketplace that sells second-hand clothing for women. What’s interesting about Micolet, is that it enables customers from Europe to shop second-hand clothing from other countries.

The fashion company started in Spain, but has now expanded into five more countries across Europe. Currently, Micolet is present in the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and Germany.

Over three years ago, Micolet was born from the passion for fashion and for saving the environment. It was created with the idea of being able to extend the life of clothing by buying and selling second-hand women’s clothing.

Other platforms forces users to waste time

The partner of one of the company’s founders wanted to sell clothing that was no longer being used, but she couldn’t find any platforms that would allow her to do this without having to do all or at least part of the process. “These platforms forced consumers to waste time taking pictures, cataloging their clothes, setting prices, taking care of the shipment”, founder Aritza Loroño tells us.

‘In Spain, a courier picks up the clothes’

And that’s how Micolet started: the founders saw the need to offer a website on which users could buy and sell without having to worry about anything and, in addition, providing a guarantee. “Unfortunately, we can’t offer the service to sell in the UK at this moment, but in Spain we send a courier to pick up the clothes people want to sell so we really do manage everything! We also feel that this allows us to have a good relationship with our customers which is very important to us”, Loroño explains.

Competitors of Micolet in Europe

In the home market of Spain, Micolet has several competitors, like Percentil. One of the key differences between the two players however is that Percentil doesn’t accept ‘low cost’ brands. “But these items are extremely sought after by our customers and they attract people to our website, as we can offer them cheap clothing.”

In Spain, there’s also the online platform of Chicfy where consumers can sell their second-hand clothes. But on this website, users have to take charge of the whole process themselves: they have to upload the images of the clothes they want to sell, they have to write the descriptions of each item and they have to arrange the shipping once an item has been sold.

And in France, there’s Patatam, which offers a similar service and is also available in Spain. The company is working on opening their website up in the United Kingdom, but at the moment they are only available in two European markets.

The market of second-hand fashion is booming, but it’s also an industry where one should really think about how to make good money and sustain a profitable business. ” All of our clothing is sold at a discounted price which often means it’s at an extremely low cost. But this also means customers are willing to pay a little more for shipping”, Loroño tells us. “And second-hand fashion is definitely starting to become much more demanded around the world. People are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious and buying second-hand is far better for the planet and has such a huge, positive impact.”

Micolet’s customer base in Europe

At the moment, Micolet has about 800,000 users with most of them (40 percent) coming from Spain. France, Portugal and the UK are other popular markets with each of them representing 15 percent of the customer base. The remaining 10 percent and 5 percent come from Italy and Germany respectively. The company will open its online business in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic next year.

“When we are thinking about going cross-border, we think about whether the country is within the European Union, because this makes selling much easier. We also think about the population of the country as well as the culture regarding second-hand clothing within the country.”

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Internet Fusion chooses Neopost automated packing system – Logistics Manager Magazine

Online retailer Internet Fusion has chosen two Neopost Shipping CVP-500 automated packing systems.

The CVP-500 builds, fills, folds and labels each order in one process and creates a custom-fit package every seven seconds.

Neopost says it uses 20 per cent less corrugated cardboard and eliminates unnecessary plastic or paper void fill, and reduces the volume of packages by 25 per cent.

Internet Fusion operates a number of online stores for sports and fashion goods. Chief executive Martin Brailsford said: “As soon as I became aware of the CVP-500 machine, it was something I knew we had to have at the heart of our warehouse process as we strive to become one of the world’s most sustainable e-commerce companies.”

Playtech offloads Plus500 stake for $228 mln ahead of Italy buy

(Reuters) – Playtech said it has sold its 10 percent stake in retail online trading platform Plus500 for about 176 million pounds ($228 million) as it looks to refinance debt.

Founded by Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi, Playtech has sold the stake in Plus500 three years after pulling the plug on a $700 million takeover of the Haifa, Israel-based company, which has a 1.83 billion pound ($2.37 billion) market value.

Shares in Plus500 fell 5.3 percent to 1,522 pence at 0850 GMT on Friday on news of the sale by Playtech, which also owns world’s largest live casino studio in Latvia.

Playtech said in a statement it had sold 11.4 million ordinary shares at 1,550 pence-a-share in Plus500, which provides an online platform for retail investors to make bets on financial markets through contracts for differences.

Goodbody analysts said the stake sale comes as no surprise ahead of Playtech’s upcoming refinancing of about 1 billion euros ($1.16 billion) of debt to fund its purchase of a stake in Italian betting and gaming firm.

The sale comes a day after a group of individual founding shareholders in Plus500 sold an 8 percent stake to a “small number of institutional investors”.

Playtech, which declined to comment, has issued two profit warnings this year due to lacklustre Asian market growth.

Meanwhile, Plus500 has raised its full-year financial performance expectations twice since June, saying it benefited from increased volatility stemming from U.S. import tariffs and high levels of trading in cryptocurrencies.

British hedge fund manager Crispin Odey whose Odey Asset Management has a 2.1 percent direct stake in Playtech and 2.91 percent via contracts for difference, through two funds run by James Hanbury, is reported to have been in touch with U.S. activist investor Jason Ader who has built a $100 million stake.

Odey Asset Management’s Hanbury did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ader’s New York-based SpringOwl Asset Management is expected to press for asset sales, the Times reported on Wednesday. SpringOwl was not immediately available for comment outside New York office hours.

($1 = 0.7729 pounds)

($1 = 0.8590 euros)

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru and Maiya Keidan in London, additional reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham

One in every five pounds spent with UK retailers is now online, figures show

One in every five pounds spent in UK shops is now online, official figures show for the first time, as fears grow over the dying High Street.

New data from the Office for National Statistics shows online sales rose by 15.3 per cent over the past year and now make up a record high of 18.2 per cent of all retail sales.

This is up from 2013 when one pound in every ten was spent online. In particular shoppers are avoiding “dusty old department stores” and shopping on their computers and phones instead, experts said, as they saw online sales rise by over a third (35 per cent) in the year to July 2018.

It comes after House of Fraser fell into financial difficulties and was bought by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, who has pledged to turn it into the “Harrods of the High Street”.

Meanwhile national DIY chain Homebase has announced it is to close 42 stores to save money. 

Around three shops are closing on UK high streets every day, as soaring business rates, online competition and a fall in trade have hit independent retailers.    

But retail sales grew faster than expected in July when sunshine and the World Cup boosted food sales and shoppers took advantage of online sales and prolonged discounts on fashion. 

Sales volumes rose by 0.7 per cent on the month before to recover from June’s decrease of 0.5 per cent, and were 3.5 per cent higher than the same time last year, the ONS said.

The ONS said feedback from non-store retailers suggested that online promotions further encouraged sales, while non-food stores reported a fall in footfall in July 2018.

ONS senior statistician Rhian Murphy said: “Many consumers stayed away from some high street stores in July, but online sales were very strong, supported by several retailers launching promotions.

“Food sales remained robust as people continued to enjoy the World Cup and the sunshine.” Laith Khalaf, a senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “There’s really only one winner in the battle between clicks and bricks at the moment, with online sales driving retail growth onwards and upwards. 

“Even the dusty old department stores are belatedly getting in on the act and have seen a huge jump in the proportion of their sales coming from online purchases.”

“Internet shopping is clearly extremely popular with consumers because of its convenience, though it does take a toll on the high street.

“Even if more traditional stores are switching to the online channel, that means they need less physical space to sell stuff from. That spells more store closures, which clearly does nothing to attract people to the high street and is likely to contribute to declining footfall.”

Last week the ONS reported that pensioners are abandoning the High Street and shopping online instead, as nearly half of over 65s now shop via the internet.

Previously online shopping was seen as a preserve of younger consumers who were most likely to be using the latest technology. 

However the proportion of older buying items via websites from the comfort of their own homes has trebled over the past decade from 16 per cent to 48 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics.