Supply tested over Xmas

1 February 2007
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01 February 2007

Online retailers lost sales over Christmas because their supply chains were unable to cope with customer demand, according to an online trade body. At the same time, the company behind high street chain Poundstretcher, Instore, recorded better results than expected because of supply chain improvements.

The trade body Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) claims British consumers spent £7.66 billion online in the 10 weeks before Christmas, 54 per cent more than the £5 billion spent online during the same period in 2005.

Jo Tucker, IMRG managing director, said: "Websites struggled to cope with soaring traffic levels, stocks sold out and sales demand outstripped supply capacity by a good margin, otherwise sales would have been higher still."

Improved stock flow for Instore, on the other hand, enabled the chain to meet customer demand, despite profit warnings in the last two months of the year. A good performance over Christmas continued into 2007, with total like-for-like sales for the six weeks ending 13 January up 4.6 per cent.

In December sales had been affected by supply difficulties, resulting from new warehouse management software introduced in September.Instore says the systems have now stabilised.


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