Any Other Business: 20 March 2020

Sam Steele
Sam Steele
Discover content team
3 min read
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Welcome to another week of AOB – your weekly round-up of the stories affecting the e-commerce world. This week, we take a look at a philanthropic endeavor from one of France's biggest fashion houses, a change of pace for travel in the UK, and a directive on sustainability from the EU. 

LVMH switches product focus to hand sanitizers

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, French luxury goods group LVMH has cancelled production of perfumes and cosmetics for their LVMH brands at three of its factories, telling the production lines to focus on making hand sanitizing gels instead – which will be distributed to French hospitals attempting to quell the ongoing pandemic1.

With 12 tons of the hand sanitiser gel anticipated to be produced this week alone, the gels will be delivered at no cost across the country, with the 39 hospitals in the country’s capital, Paris, being paid particular attention. The country’s government has also put a price limit on gels available to the public – at €3 per 100ml bottle – in order to stop people from taking advantage of the crisis.


EU turns focus to circular economy

In an effort to transform the way goods are made, and how they will affect the planet in the future, the European Commission has announced its Circular Economy Action Plan2. Part of a new agenda for sustainable growth, it focuses on making products recyclable, repairable, and designed to last longer – aiming to ensure the resources used for items made in the EU stay in the EU economy for as long as possible creating a sustainable economic plan.

The EU, like DHL, is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050 and become a carbon-neutral company, and this will be a huge step towards achieving it. Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, commented that “With today’s plan we launch action to transform the way products are made and empower consumers to make sustainable choices for their own benefit and that of the environment.”


US stores to shut up shop

Founder and CEO of Coresight Research, Deborah Weinswig, has suggested that as many as 15,000 brick-and-mortar stores could face closure in the U.S. in 2020 – a new record for the industry3. Closures on high street stores are on pace to be “double what we saw last year,” said Weinswig, adding that “If COVID-19 stays longer, it will be greater.”

With the uncertainty facing the retail industry, e-commerce looks to be the best bet – especially for small businesses. Check out our comprehensive collection of e-commerce business tips and advice that can help your SME navigate the changing world around us.


Legal e-scooters, medical drones and more are coming to the UK

While the country has traditionally lagged behind other European countries when it comes to e-scooters, the UK’s Department for Transport has announced that it is exploring new transportation modes4. E-scooters, e-cargo bikes, and medical drones are the focus of the consultation – as well as bringing the on-demand model to buses and other UK public transport.

The move, which will have huge ramifications for last-mile delivery, “marks the biggest review of transport laws in a generation,” according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, and will “…pave the way for exciting new transport technology to be tested, cementing the UK’s position as a world-leading innovator.”


And finally… one in ten UK adults have an idea they think could become a business

A poll of 2,000 British people has found that more than 10% of those surveyed have an idea they think could become a business5. However, more than 40% agreed that it can be difficult to set up a ‘non-traditional’ business model.

The research, by Innovate UK, also showed that not having the funding, not having the right networking opportunities, and a lack of self-confidence to be reasons people believe they would struggle to set up and run their own company. If you need any support, Discover by DHL is here to help you – whether it’s understanding startup logisticsbootstrapping, how to sell on social media and much more – so don’t hesitate to get in touch with an e-commerce expert.