THE RETAIL BULLETIN - The home of retail news
Department Stores
Shopping Centres & Retail Parks
Home & DIY
Health & Beauty
General Merchandise
Sports & Leisure
The Papers
Retail Solutions
Food & Drink
Amazon Booms, UK Retailers Respond with ‘No Big Changes’ – Reveals RELEX Survey

International research organization Martec’s annual State of The Retail Supply Chain Survey commissioned by RELEX nevertheless finds most retailers see competition as fiercer than ever


Amazon Booms, UK Retailers Respond with ‘No Big Changes’ – Reveals RELEX Survey

International research organization Martec’s annual State of The Retail Supply Chain Survey commissioned by RELEX nevertheless finds most retailers see competition as fiercer than ever

The rise of Amazon, which has already captured half the online retail market in the US, is being met with a surprising degree of complacency according to the latest research commissioned by unified retail planning experts RELEX.

The survey, which interviewed senior supply chain experts from retailers that together account for 30% of the UK market by revenue, found that 68% were planning no ‘big changes’ in response to the growth of the internet giant but rather intended to ‘stay focused on their strengths’. One-in-ten don’t see Amazon as a threat at all.

Others (35%) say they planned to focus on increasing operational efficiency while smaller numbers planned to increase budgets and respond with greater urgency and new initiatives (10%) or intended to increase their spending on technology (5%).

Last year Amazon captured 17% of online retail sales in the UK, which represents 2% of total retail sales.
In contrast 70% of those surveyed say they see competition in UK retail as fiercer than ever and yet only 38% agreed that shoppers are more in charge than ever. This contrasts with other recent research showing that consumers are highly focused on service and experience while three quarters will take their custom elsewhere if retailers fail to meet their expectations.

Other key findings from this year’s survey suggest that 45% of UK retailers see technology as more essential than ever, and that awareness and excitement about the potential of machine learning to transform retail planning (60%) is high although there is still some confusion around the applications of machine learning within the industry.

“RELEX’s survey shows a growing awareness of the power of technology to transform retail,” says RELEX CEO Mikko Kärkkäinen. “However, it’s also clear that most think their technology could be better and could do more.”

“Amazon remains a threat not least because it’s single-mindedly exploiting every technological advantage it can use to give itself an edge. If the rest of UK retail doesn’t fight fire with fire it risks getting burned.”

“We were surprised at the level of complacency about Amazon in the UK market, most retailers are focusing on doing more of the same which will not be that effective. But levels of automation of the supply chain are set to increase, some 23% of companies plan to replace and upgrade their automatic store replenishment systems. Better systems, more automation, simpler processes and more strategic use of promotions will help retailers become more competitive.” Says Frances Riseley, Deputy managing Director, Martec International.

Download the full report here

About RELEX Solutions
RELEX Solutions is dedicated to helping retail businesses improve their competitiveness through localized assortments, profitable use of retail space, accurate forecasting and replenishment, and optimized workforce planning. Our SaaS solutions deliver quick return on investment and can be used independently or jointly for unified retail planning, enabling cross-functional optimization of retail’s core processes: merchandising, supply chain and store operations. RELEX Solutions is trusted by leading brands including WHSmith, Morrisons,, Coop Denmark and Rossmann, and has offices across North America and Europe.
More information:

About Martec International
Martec International is a specialist retail consulting and training company and the market leader in this type of research. We assist retailers to improve their business performance and help suppliers to retail execute their go to market strategies more successfully. Our clients include retailers, technology and merchandise vendors, ingredient manufacturers, CPG and FMCG companies, banks, telecommunications companies and venture capitalists.

Email this article to a friend

You need to be logged in to use this feature.

Please log in here

Subscribe For Retail News


Customer Engagement Conference 2019
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
5 June 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 10th Annual Retail Customer Engagement Conference
The HR Summit 2019
The HR Summit 2019
8 October 2019
Hallam Conference Centre, London W1W 6JJ
The 11th HR Summit 2019, Hallam Conference Centre, 44 Hallam St, Marylebone, London W1W 6JJ
AI in Retail Conference 2019
AI in Retail Conference 2019
16 October 2019
Cavendish Conference Center, London W1G 9DT
Digitally native competitors and demanding customers are forcing a new perspective in retail. AI and machine learning can help you step up to the challenges; and some ‘small and beautiful’ solutions can increase your conversion rates within just a few weeks.
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2020
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2020
5 February 2020
Cavendish Conference Centre, London WG1 9DT
A truly omnichannel offering requires an understanding of customer behaviour across all shopping channels and how this should impact your overall business strategy