Sustainability has recently become a hot topic. Why retailers should pay attention to sustainable trade and how can they implement its principles?
In addition to the ethical aspect (conserving the planet we live), moving to the “green side” can bring many benefits for both retailers and their customers. According to the Readers Industry Leaders Association (RILA) report, 93% of global consumers expect more of the brands they use to support social and environmental issues. The same report indicates that 68 million adult Americans base their shopping decisions on their values - personal, social or environmental. Sustainability issues are also important for the Millenials generation, which is a significant group among modern customers. A study by Nielsen shows that millennials are able to pay more for brands that operate in accordance with the principles of sustainability.
The introduction of environmentally friendly solutions in stores brings many benefits to retailers, such as lower energy consumption and lower costs. Healthy, environmentally friendly interiors also mean fewer illnesses and less sick leave among employees. Importantly, it is also a way to increase store profits. Examples indicate that more daylight and greenery can increase store sales by 40%. Sustainable trade is also a way to build a better relationship with customers. Pro-ecological solutions do not have to mean expensive investments such as solar batteries or geothermal installations. We can first take small steps that will help protect the environment and affect the perception of the store by customers. We describe three such solutions:
A store is a place where a lot of paper is consumed. One way to change this is transitioning to digital receipts and sending them by email, as far as legal regulations in your country allow. In this way, we save forests, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and at the same time we reduce garbage production, because receipts will not be later discarded as waste.
It is becoming increasingly important for customers how the products they buy are made. If you make any of your own goods, think about whether you can reduce the production of harmful waste in the manufacturing process. However, if you resell premade goods, ask suppliers for information about the production process: working and safety conditions, pollution and waste that arise during manufacturing.
In addition to offering new products to your customers, think about whether you can somehow help them recycle old or worn-out goods. Sportswear producer, North Face brand has prepared a special program “Clothes the Loop”, under which it offers customers discounts if they bring used clothes to the store. Items are repurposed into products like fiber for new clothes or stuffing for toys.
In summary, conducting sustainable trade can ensure customer respect and increase store profits. There are many solutions in line with the principles of sustainable development, that can be implemented in the store and that do not require large financial outlays. The condition of the effectiveness of such activities is their transparency and authenticity.
Ergo Store is a company that introduces the highest standards regarding safety, ecology, and responsibility for its workers and surrounding environment. The decrease of negative environmental footprint of the store fitting production is one of our priorities. Therefore, any project is strictly controlled by dedicated task groups, and control begins at the earliest stage – when choosing business partners, as well as the place of origin of the materials used during retail furniture manufacturing.
Sinsay clothing store in Stop Shop Rožňava retail park, located in south-eastern Slovakia is one of the latest productions prepared by Ergo Store for LPP group.