16 April 2008

What "winning" retailers want in green practices

Retail Systems Research, a research company focusing on retail issues, will release a report April 24 -- Earth Day -- called "What Can Green Do for You?: Gaining Strategic Advantage in Retail via Environmentally Sound Practice."

The researchers divided retailers into two groups: "winners" who outperform their peers, and "laggards." According to a preview of the research, 72 percent of "winners" said that ethical concerns were "important or higher" motivators for stocking environmentally responsible products. Only 28 percent of "laggards" said it was important.

As for cost reduction, 52 percent of "winners" though it was important, compared with 77 percent of "laggards."

The report summary concludes:

From this, one of the most basic fundamental differences can be drawn out between retail segments. When pertaining to environmental issues, all segments agree that the customer will be the driver, and whether errant or not, that her time has not yet fully arrived.

Yet underperforming retailers continuously ask how much green initiatives will cost, and feel no accountability to the environment in which they live. Retailers that outperform their peers are actually investing now, giving less thought to cost-reduction, and viewing the brandbuilding done today as smart business for when customer demand invariably heightens. In addition, winning retailers recognize that their actions have greater impact than that of just financials.

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