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EDITORIAL Rising footfall heralds lively Q4; sustainability costs high; Lego’s immersive toy shops; MAC Cosmetics goes high tech

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Shoppers are coming back to stores: are we in for a good Q4? (Image: AdobeStock)
Shoppers are coming back to stores: are we in for a good Q4? (Image: AdobeStock)
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Shoppers are returning to stores as we kick off Q4, but retailers worry about the costs of sustainability: today's top headlines

Analysts are cautiously optimistic that footfall growth over August is the start of a return not only to store-based shopping, but also a boost to all retail ahead of what they predict could be a lively Q4.

 

While staycationing and ‘daycationing’ have helped drive up traffic, it is hoped that a slow return of office workers as schools go back could be a much-needed fillip. It is also likely that, with holidays over, attention will turn to Christmas and sales on and offline will start to rise.

 

Meanwhile, with more shoppers looking for the brands and retailers they use to be more sustainable,the costs of meeting these demands are too high, many in the industry warn – and this is slowing down investment in sustainable business.

 

There is a fine balance currently between around half of shoppers saying they would buy preferentially from retailers that did offer sustainable packaging against around half of retailers saying to offer this is still to costly.

 

We hear from Simone Sweeney of Lego about the part that immersive toyshops play in its multichannel strategy. Shoppers, she says, want to play in-store as well as shopping online, a conclusion that the brand has reached through two years of research carried out before the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

We share a case study on how M·A·C Cosmetics has used virtual tools that enable customers to try on make-up and find the right shade for their skin online or in-store. M·A·C’s Sonia Anand, executive director, global digital retail innovation, says that shoppers experiment with some very different new products from usual when they can do so virtually.

 

And we take a look at government advice on how small and medium-size retailers can act now to tackle climate change.

 

Today’s guest comment comes from Rachel Pritykin of LiveArea who considers how the use of blockchain can bring sustainability and transparency to fashion.

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