It was great to see in the news this week that the French government has enforced ethical retailing upon supermarkets-that they must give unsold food to charities.

On the other hand however it raises a concerning awareness of how little a role retail still actually plays in facing our global epidemics of food shortages, homelessness, recycling and waste. The below highlights who is doing this well, the commercial impact this has and the potential for retailers to exploit this to their advantage.

When thinking of ethical retailing, only a handful of companies jump to mind. The Co-Operative Group is one that has built their organisational foundations upon being socially responsible and ethical. They invest heavily in this programme, sourcing and promoting one of the largest ranges of fair trade goods, and regularly fund charities and local community groups from their profits amongst many other initiatives.

M&S also launched a revised version of their ‘Plan A’ recently, their commitment to protecting the planet, reducing waste and helping communities. They have outline a further 100 tasks and are aspiring to become ‘the world’s most sustainable major retailer.’

H&M encourage shoppers to donate unwanted clothes in exchange for in tor gift vouchers so they can recycle correctly, and Ted Baker have also been known to donate to the homeless.

For those retailers that aren’t undertaking any CSR initiatives, now needs to be the time- shoppers too are looking to become more responsible, commit to helping the planet and indeed help those less fortunate such as those homeless, and if this means shopping with partners who help them do this surely this may potentially have an impact upon their decision of who they choose to shop with.

Recent studies have suggested that ethical retailing and CSR could be the answer in having an impact on the intention to buy, and increasing brand loyalty moving forward. It’s great to see that we are making small steps to a better world, let’s hope this continues across the various nations.

Discover our retail innovation strategy here that could be the start of looking how you could become more socially responsible. Allow us to support you in finding out exactly what influences your shopper’s purchasing patterns, providing fresh inspiration to your sales strategies and instore experiences.

Nikita Lewis
Business Development Manager