John Munelly, Head of Operations - Magna Park Campus at leading retailer John Lewis & Partners, presented at the inaugural E-PACK Europe in Berlin in March 2019, and we spoke to him to get an inside look at why John Lewis believe logistics is the new retail, why packaging for e-commerce is important, challenges faced by retailers and much more.
John, your presentation will discuss 'Is logistics the new retail?', can you give us a sneak peek of what this will cover?
John Lewis is the largest department store business in the UK with 50 department stores and a thriving online business which has grown exponentially over the last 10 years. In 2007 our online business represented only 8% of our annual sales whereas today almost 50% of our sales are driven from online and this has resulted in a massive shift in focus to our logistics operations. I will share the headlines of this journey and give an appreciation of the investment we have had to make to stay in the race.
Why is this an important topic to discuss and what effect could it have on the e-commerce industry?
Many multi-channel retailers are still grappling with the shift to online from traditional high street shopping. I hope to give some insight into our journey that could help others with their future plans
What do you think are the main challenges e-commerce retailers facing?
The continued decline of the high street and the switch to online
The end to end cost of online shopping compared to traditional high street shopping
Managing seasonal peaks and the availability/cost of contingent labour which is driving many businesses to consider automation/mechanisation
Why do you think the e-commerce supply chain is so challenging for manufacturers and retailers?
Customers continue to demand more for less and this is forcing many businesses into a ‘race to the bottom’ situation.
Speed of delivery propositions, next day/same day/same hour will continue to challenge many businesses and push their supply chains to become more demand driven and not production driven.
What are you most looking forward to hearing about at E-PACK?
Future innovations in packaging/proposition
John's presentation at the E-PACK Europe 2019 provided exclusive insights into John Lewis' e-commerce journey, including:
- How they are reimagining the world of logistics
- Their progress on becoming a 50/50 e-commerce and bricks and mortar retailers by 2020
- How they intend to fulfil their ambition in the next 3 years
- How they have increased their penetration of Click & Collect to account for more than 50% of their online sales
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