Britain largest retailers split over extending Sunday hours as Asda and Morrisons are trying to press for the Government to change the law; however Tesco, Sainsburys and John Lewis want to support the current rules. Smaller retailers are losing out on a big opportunity to help customers shop with ease and lose out to larger competitors.
Despite the increase of e-commerce platforms, the mind set of consumers is changing as they don’t understand why they can have an item delivered the next day but often have to wait longer to pick up it up when it should be stocked locally.
John Pincott, Managing Director Europe of Shopatron, discusses how consumers’ need for access to goods round the clock is a fundamental force shaping the modern retail landscape. With the introduction of ‘click and collect’ services, which have become very popular, the need to satisfy changing consumers’ demands is getting harder.
Small businesses may not be able to compete with these demands, due to the cost and complexity of the service. The idea is a quick and effective shopping experience but retailers would need to make store inventory visible to online shoppers and provide same day collections. This is why the idea to extend Sunday hours was proposed by smaller businesses.
John Pincott says “The integration of online shopping into consumers’ daily routines lifted the restrictions on shopping within certain limited hours. As a result, physical stores are now feeling the pressure to match the offering. All businesses have been impacted by 24hour access to goods online and extending opening hours will help to boost sales for many retailers, however, for the majority of retailers, this simply isn’t a viable commercial option.”
With legislation unlikely to change, omnichannel methods such as these will help to satisfy evolving customer demand for 24 hour convenience. As the debate might continue, the integration of online shopping and delivering shows that technology is the fast rising factor to companies’ performances.