For the latest in consumer and industry news, top trends and market perspectives, stay tuned to Mintel News featuring commentary from Mintel's team of global category analysts.

Mintel’s Month in Retail highlights the stories that have made headlines in the European retail markets over the past four weeks, with exclusive analysis from Mintel’s expert retail team on potential implications.

UK: John Lewis launches ‘concierge’ shopping experience

Department store John Lewis has revealed details of a new concierge-style shopping experience that will be on trial in its new Oxford store.

“The role of the department store has been changing and the major players have realised that stores need to become more experience-driven to compete with specialists and online retailers. But as services and experiences have been added to individual departments, they risk a lack of cohesion and, as such, don’t fully capitalise on the inherent benefit of a department store: the breadth of its offer. In its Oxford store, John Lewis has sought to tie the experience together through the use of a concierge. Customers can plan their visit and book a wide range of events, services and experience from a single place, bringing together the benefits of all the separate departments and creating a more holistic experience.”

UK map
Poland map

International: Amazon launches in-house delivery

Amazon has announced Amazon Key, a new service for its Prime subscribers that allows customers to have packages securely delivered inside their home without them having to be there. Customers will be able to track their delivery with real-time notifications and watch the video of the delivery happening.

“Mintel’s latest research into retail home delivery and collection services found that around one third of those who have had products delivered in the last year feel it is easier to cancel an order than risk not being available when it is set to arrive – a significant amount of potentially lost business for retailers. While delivery times are being constantly reduced, there has been little development in overcoming the need to be present to receive the orders. Click-and-collect certainly gives customers flexibility, but in most cases it is only suited to smaller items.”

France: Carrefour lets customers deliver groceries

Supermarket group Carrefour is launching a new platform called Merci Voisin (Thanks Neighbour) that allows customers to have their online orders delivered at home by other customers for a small fee.

“We have seen a number of these public delivery schemes over the past couple of years. Providing an online grocery service, particularly one in a market that is increasingly moving toward same-day delivery, is demanding and requires a large staff of delivery personnel, or help from third-party delivery operators. Therefore the ‘uberfication’ of the last leg allows the workforce to be scaled up or down to cater to demand, likely cutting costs for the retailer. Consumers seem in favour of such a scheme, with Mintel’s Attitudes towards Retail Home Delivery and Collection services UK 2016 Report finding that 50% of Brits would be happy, when collecting their own items, to deliver products to a neighbour for an incentive.”

UK map

International: Amazon introduces teenager-friendly shopping

Parents of 13-17 year olds now have ultimate control over all orders and spending of their children on Amazon. Teenagers can independently use the Amazon App with their own login details, with parents able to approve the orders or set pre-approved limits on spending.

“In Mintel’s Online Retailing UK 2017 Report we asked online shoppers if retailers should let customers hold joint accounts with other members of the household, and half of consumers with teenagers in the household were in favour to the move. Meanwhile, Mintel’s Children’s Online Spending Habits UK 2017 Report reveals that over half of parents do not allow their child between the age of 10 and 15 to make online purchases. This new solution from Amazon gives the child a sense of independence and autonomy when browsing for goods, but allows the parent to keep control on spending.”

Germany: Zalando revenues up as it enters the beauty market

Zalando has reported a dramatic increase in revenue of 27.5-29.5% for its third quarter, with revenue reaching €1.06-1.08 billion. The online retailer also confirmed the launch of a beauty category in spring 2018, to be introduced in Germany first.

“Zalando is the latest youth fashion retailer eyeing growth through beauty and personal care, following the likes of ASOS and Boohoo. Whilst online retailing is well-established in Germany, online beauty remains a small market. Consumer research for Mintel’s Beauty Retailing Germany 2017 Report found that only around one third of German shoppers have bought beauty products online. The leading players have struggled to gain momentum online, so there remains an opportunity for Zalando to encourage online purchasing, with free samples, advice on how to use products and discounts most likely to attract people online for beauty and personal care.”

UK map