Company Profiles of Major Players in UK Digital Commerce Market

UK digital commerce market has grown rapidly over the last few years and continues to develop and experience high growth in developing and developed markets. With an online sales growth rate of about 16.2 percent last year, which is projected to grow by 4.9 percent this year, there is a great potential for digital commerce in the UK. In addition, about 65% of British adults have both a smartphone and a tablet. According to Ecommerce Foundation, the value of UK digital commerce was 157 billion euros in 2015. As UK digital commerce market continues to grow, let us look into the following company profiles of major players in UK digital commerce market .


Incorporated on May 28, 1996, offers numerous products and services via its websites. The UK online retailer provides an sale experience with the United Kingdom accent in terms of fulfilment, customer service, products, and languages. It sells to customers in Ireland, Wales, England, and Scotland an endless list of electronics, media, another general merchandise, including  groceries, office supplies, computers, shoes, apparel, tools, toys, software, electronic devices, games, videos, music, books, and many more. The company entered the virtual marketplace in 1998.

2) Tesco

Tesco is the UK top food retailer and the 3rd largest in the world. It opened its first store in 1929 in London. By 1960s, Tesco had opened stores in most UK streets. Since 2000, there has been increasing focus on creating non-food sales both online and in store. Today,  the company is engaged in the retailing business and associated activities and insurance services and retail banking. The Company’s brands are Finest,  Chokablok Everyday Value, Technika. The company has invested heavily in digital commerce, providing site and mobile app that allows consumers to order online from a mobile device or PC and collect their products in stores.

3) Argos

Established by Richard Tompkins in 1973, Argos is a UK retailer that operates in the UK and Ireland. The company trade mainly online, with more than 750 stores and over 800 million websites visits a year, making the company among the biggest high street retailers online in the UK. The company is the one of the largest UK’s digital retailer, offering over 33,000 products via , over the telephone  and mobile channels.

4) Boots

The Boots is one of the top retailers in the UK, in addition to being a major marketer and manufacturer of cosmetics, non-prescription drugs, and toiletries. The company operates 25,000 stores and a retail website. Their stores are mainly located in the shopping centres and on the high streets.

5) Asos

Founded in 2000, Asos is a UK online beauty and fashion store.  Mainly aimed at young people, the company sells more than 850 brands . As of August 2015, the company had a net asset worth £237.3 million. Asos  sells beauty products, jewellery, accessories, footwear, menswear and womenswear online and via mobile experiences. Key people in the company include  Brian McBride, The Lord Alli, Nick Beighton, Nick Robertson and Anders Holch Povlsen.

6) Next

Founded in 1864, next is a UK multinational clothing, home products, and footwear retailer. By sales, the company is the largest clothing retailer in Europe. The company’s  e-commerce portal boasts of more than 3 million active customers per year, securing a constant place among top 10 internet retailers in the world.

7) John Lewis Partnership

The John Lewis Partnership operates John Lewis department stores, banking and financial services, Waitrose supermarkets and other retail-related activities. According to Sunday Times Top Track 100 for 2016, The JLP is the third largest British company by sales. Last year, the company invested £500m into digital commerce. Today, the company is seeing fast growth online and through mobile.

8) Marks & Spencer

Founded in 1884, Marks and Spencer specialises in the selling of home products, clothing and luxury food products. The company has more than 1,380 stores around the world and serves customers through about 300 full-line stores and Website.  The company has been seeing an increase in sales following the launch of its website in 2014. This month, M&S announced it will shut 30 UK stores and convert 45 more into food-only shops. According to LDC has already provided unofficial list reportedly ‘at risk stores’

9) B & Q

Founded in 1969, B & Q is home improvement retailing company. The company sells home and furnishing products, outdoor and garden tools, heating and plumbing products, flooring products, tiles, flooring products, security products, lighting products, tools and equipment, decorating products, wallpapers, and many more. It sells products via online and stores.

10) House of Fraser

House of Fraser is a department store group with more than 60 stores across the UK and Ireland. The company provides women wear products including casual jackets, dresses, watches, lingerie, occasion wear, blouses, nightwear and occasion; and menswear such loungewear, t-shirts, tops, trousers, and underwear. The company also offers lighting, luggage, furniture products and electrical products. Last year, House of Fraser reported that its digital commerce sales grew by 38.8 percent to represent 17.5 percent of sales.

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