Magazine Article | September 22, 2011

Sustainability Challenges

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

By Steve Rowen, RSR

For retailers, encouraging consumption is the name of the game. Yet so is reducing cost, increasing margin, and attracting and pleasing customers. Thus, we examine the ways in which green practices and products can ultimately benefit retailers in our annual sustainability survey. The following are some of the ways retailers perceive the business challenges ahead.

The real challenge is consumers. More retailers report that customers are not yet demanding greener products or stores — 66% in late 2010 vs. 58% in 2009. However, retailers may be zeroing in on what consumers want; in business challenges, we see a shift in the percent of retailers reporting that their products are not viewed as "natural." But as you will see throughout this report, retailers are working hard to narrow down the list of what consumers want. It may be trial-and-error work, but progress is being made. Fewer retailers report that there are simply other things that are a priority, and a measly 4% report that green is a "fad," vs. 19% in 2009.