Sir: Are we in a perfect storm? As the BRC figures show (‘BRC warns of tough 2013 and potential business failures’,, 8 January) the combination of brutal economic conditions and the disruptive force of online retailing will continue to hit those who fail to adapt their business model to today’s consumer.

The questions facing retailers are tough. How do they develop a seamless omni-channel experience? How do they address the additional costs associated with an online business without killing profit margins? As online continues to cannibalise store sales, how do they deal with a decline in store profitability due to relatively fixed occupancy costs? What will happen to the value of property estates on retailers’ balance sheets?

Added to this are the twin capex requirements of creating an ultra-responsive supply chain and the need for in-store investment to drive a better customer experience.

A newly empowered consumer is in the driving seat and the catalyst for change is technology led. This time round, standing still is not an option.

Lee Gill, VP Retail Strategy EMEA, JDA