Woman on her smartphone

To help you stay informed with the need-to-know headlines, we’ve combed the web for interesting stories from across retail and technology. And here they all are, in one handy blog.

Feel up to date with our roundup of what happened in the world of retail in February.

DPD partners up with what3words

Parcel delivery provider DPD UK has partnered with tech company what3words to give customers an alternative option to adding their address and postcode into their delivery preferences. Instead, they can enter a 3x3metre code, Parcel and Postal Technology International reported. what3words has made it easier to navigate to a precise location by dividing the entire world into 3x3metre squares, giving each square a unique combination of three words – for example, the words ‘bands.villa.swung’ will take you to a 3m square on Primrose Hill in London, UK. what3words, stated, “Our technology gives both customers and DPD drivers the confidence that deliveries will be made precisely, easily, and more efficiently, using just three words.”

ASOS asks for supplier discount

ASOS has written to its suppliers to request a 2% discount on ordered goods to offset the impact of rising inflation. As a global destination for fashion, ASOS saw profits soar despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, and the future looks good with a further 10-15% growth expected in 2022. To stay in line with the projected growth plans, the giant contacted its ASOS Design and third-party branded suppliers and requested the discount on the agreed retail price for orders with invoices dated from 1 February, the Retail Gazette reported. ASOS explained its stance, telling suppliers that having absorbed most of the effects of inflation up to now, they must now work together to share the burden and put in place measures essential to maintaining competitive prices for their customers.

Greggs X Primark

The collaboration you never knew you needed. An unlikely partnership has formed, as Greggs takes its first steps from baked goods to fashion apparel. A limited-edition collection of 11 Greggs themed apparel items are available in chosen Primark stores across the country. To mark the occasion, Greggs and Primark also launched a pop-up boutique in London’s Soho to offer customers who have booked an appointment a chance to view the collection before the general release. Celebratory steak bakes all round.

Image credit: Greggs

AO recycles five million appliances

Online electricals retailer AO hit an impressive green milestone, having recycled over five million household appliances at its state-of-the-art recycling facility. AO Recycling opened in Spring 2017 in Telford, with the aim to increase their recommerce sales by recycling large domestic appliances, including fridges, washing machines, tumble driers, cookers, and dishwashers. The items were then refurbed or repackaged, ready to be sold on via trade and outlet shops. They also offer a Collect & Recycle service, where both customers and the public can have their appliances collected and taken away to be responsibly recycled.

This milestone coincides with the report that the global recommerce market is estimated to rise to $51 billion by 2023, according to Forbes, as consumers become increasingly aware of their impact on the environment and choose to shop more sustainably.


musicMagpie: 63% reduction in WISMO

Find out how leading recommerce business musicMagpie pride themselves on maintaining fantastic customer service while experiencing exciting growth.

Read the customer story
Second hand CD & DVD collection

End of an era for John Lewis pledge

Department store retailer John Lewis has announced that this summer will mark the end of the “Never Knowingly Undersold” price pledge it has sustained since 1925. The 96-year-old price promise means the employee-owned John Lewis matches prices on like-for-like branded products with national retailers that sell both online and in shops. However, the store said that it no longer fits in with how customers shop as more purchases are made online – as the pledge is not applicable to online-only retailers. Instead, John Lewis plans to increase spending to 500 million pounds this year to keep their prices competitive.

Social shopping AR tech powers up

Social media app Snapchat has rolled out a new augmented reality upgrade on the platform. Instead of showing two-dimensional images of products to Snapchat users, the tools can engage mobile shoppers with immersive content such as virtual try-ons of cosmetics. Initial tests of the new “catalogue-powered” shopping lens with beauty brands Ulta Beauty and MAC Cosmetics showed great results for the augmented reality lenses that brands can directly link to their product catalogues. Ulta generated $6 million in sales and more than 30 million product try-ons during a two-week period, while MAC’s shopping lens was tried on 1.3 million times. The rollout of updated shopping features is another sign that social networks see a bright future in e-commerce, according to Retail Dive.

Free coronavirus testing no more

As part of the easing of the remaining coronavirus restrictions, the government announced that free coronavirus tests would be scrapped in England from April. This controversial move marks the start of a new era post pandemic. Instead, Boots began selling single lateral flow tests to customers from £5.99, according to Retail Week. Boots said, “While it is great that we are returning to normal and finding a way to live with Covid-19, we encourage our customers and patients to stay safe and continue to take measures to limit the spread of the virus, especially to those in vulnerable groups.”

H&M introduces STEM

H&M has launched its first STEM programme in the UK to encourage women and non-binary people to get into roles in STEM, said The Industry.Fashion. The STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) programme launched this month in partnership with social enterprise Stemettes and will encourage participants to explore STEM’s contribution to a sustainable fashion future. H&M said that the programme was a part of its bid to be “both inclusive and diverse,” tackling the issue of under-representation of women and non-binary people in STEM. The partnership with Stemettes in the UK will be followed by the roll-out of a series of the programmes across the world by H&M Group.

And that’s it.

You’re all caught up with some of the top stories from last month! Give us a follow on our socials (if you don’t already) to be notified of next month’s edition.