Retail in the 2020s – Embracing Green to Turn Red into Black

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Summary

The advent of digital commerce has changed the way in which customers consume. Choice is now beyond the local shopping centre and has reached global proportions. Retail brands used to control what customers could purchase, down to tastes, fashions and even inspiration. The global financial crisis woke customers up to the power they possessed, even subconsciously, and this has been building steadily ever since. Increasingly we are seeing a game of brinkmanship; retailers have warehouses of stock, consumers are worried about how far their money will go and wait for discounts.

We are now seeing the beginnings of another consumer revolution. Customers are taking much more notice about where their products are coming from, how they are produced and increasingly, their impact on the environment. Veganism is on the increase and climate change is becoming a key ingredient in politics, nationally and internationally. The demand for global resources is coming to the fore and provenance of products and services is becoming a factor in consumer purchasing decisions. Whilst this view might be a luxury that only consumers in ‘developed economies’ can afford, it has ramifications beyond that. So, what does this mean to retailers and their supply chains? Perhaps, this dynamic is already being adopted in the developing economies.

This report reviews these changing dynamics and seeks to highlight why this ‘consumer first’ approach will affect how merchants manage demand, source product and the role that the disparate technology systems will play in this brave new world.

 

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