Fashion group Aurora, owner of brands including Oasis and Coast, intends to extend its offer of 90-minute delivery to most customers by next February.

Delivery has emerged as one of the key battlegrounds in multichannel retail and Aurora, which piloted the fast delivery option in partnership with fulfillment firm Shutl, is rolling out the service.

Shearwood told the World Retail Congress in Berlin: ”By February next year 90% of the UK will be offered 90-minute delivery.” He said that in the multichannel age a combination of stores and online enables retailers to offer customers the convenience they demand, and the mix of options opens new availability opportunities and expectations.

“If it’s available anywhere it’s available everywhere,” he said. So far, Aurora’s fastest delivery has been in 16 minutes. Shearwood said: “We’re able to do that because we have stores where there are customers.”

Aurora is extending its ecommerce operations internationally and from the end of next month will start launching foreign language sites, including in Germany.

Research conducted by CB Richard Ellis and presented at the World Retail Congress showed that the proportion of consumers who shop online is now 40% across Europe, but big differences remain in shopping habits from country to country.

Sweden is at the forefront of the change. 69% of Swedish shoppers purchase online while in Russia, where online shopping is least popular, the figure is only 5%.

The research revealed the extent to which shoppers are embracing ecommerce in categories once thought relatively unlikely to prove popular online. Only 33%, for instance, said they thought it is important to ‘touch and feel’ fashion product before buying over the internet.