In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reporting on more sustainable approaches that both retailers and those working in related industries, from delivery to property, are now putting forward in response to climate change. Tchibo is expanding an online rental programme for its clothing, a move that should cut waste, while DPD says that 10% of its delivery fleet will be electric within two years, and Land Securities, in its full-year results, references climate change – along with digital – as key factors driving change in its industry. It says the need to transition to a low carbon economy is reshaping the property market. Nike is innovating with a smartphone shoe fitting service that, if it works, should reduce returns, delivery journeys and wast. All this comes as Tesco says it has reduced its food waste by 17% and calls on others to do more.
This is all welcome evidence of some of the concrete – an ongoing – actions now taking place in ecommerce, multichannel retailing and related industries as the UK more broadly takes a lead in moving towards net zero emissions. After all, the change that needs to happen in order to reduce carbon emissions is also set to improve the way that we live – whether that’s through breathing cleaner air in our towns and cities, or through easing the strain on household finances – and storage space – by making products that we’d like to have sometimes but don’t need to look after all the time more accessible for shorter periods. It will probably make retail more convenient and improve the customer experience at the same time, whether that’s through consolidating delivery trips, reducing packaging – that ultimately the consumer must dispose of – or selling better-quality products that don’t need to be replaced so often.
But we also need to see much more of this - more retailers, delivery companies and other kinds of suppliers taking steps like these or other, innovative ones. By doing so, they make their own businesses more sustainable, not only now but for the long-term future.
Elsewhere today we’re reporting on value fashion retailer Select going into administration, and on how Wilko has returned to profit through a focus on its own brand goods. Today’s guest comment comes from James Herbert of Hastee Pay, as a reminder of the importance of treating retail staff well.