Leap from lockdown: Logistics

Strong logistics underpins all retail. Many retailers have forged their competitive edge by being able to get products from the factory to the wardrobe quicker and cheaper than their rivals.

As the Covid-19 pandemic shut stores and confined shoppers to their homes, there was a huge surge in online retail. While many physical stores have now reopened, there is no sign of a sudden drop-off, with the ONS reporting that 31% of sales were made online in June.

Serving newly online customers was a new challenge for many retailers. The mechanics of fulfilling online orders are different to normal retail logistics, with orders needing to be compiled from several different product lines rather than shipped in pallets.

In this Deep Dive, we look at the models retailers have adopted to weather this change, whether it is converting stores into warehouses, adding new automation systems or building shipping into their manufacturing processes.