I read Ed Cooke’s opinion piece More than meets the eye with festive retail figures with interest, particularly his point that retailers see online and offline channels  independently.

Online shopping

Source: Shutterstock/ Zilu8

While many have nailed the consumer demand for genuine experience in-store, few have really thought about how to connect this up with online demand and the immense opportunity there is to link digital, social and e-commerce with these seemingly innovative in-store experiences.

Those getting it right include Amazon, which has created a physical New York-based store that simply sells the most popular items from the website – thus creating an additional guaranteed revenue stream over and above the core sales it is achieving anyway.

While the wider uncertainty for UK retailers is out of their control, and not caused by them, previous definitions of ‘being agile’ simply might not cut it any longer.

The way ahead looks pretty difficult for retailers that fail to ensure gestures such as driving experience are supported by efficient warehouse and supplier management, stock replenishment and linked online and offline activity, – the time to apply these survival tactics is now.

Charlotte Ward, principal associate, Gowling WLG