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September 28, 2020: The Body Shop turns dirty trash into product packaging, European retail sales on the rise, Nike’s digitization efforts pay off.
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Hosted by Julia Raymond
Written and produced by Gabriella Bock
Edited by Trenton Waller
Hello, and welcome to the Retail Rundown.
I’m your host, Julia Raymond and I’ll be flying solo on this episode! Next week we’ll resume our regular format featuring guests from the industry.
Before I dive in, I’d like to encourage our listeners to connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter. Our Twitter handle is @ RETHINK underscore Retail, and you can connect with me too on my personal handle at @juliarhare. I’d love to hear from you.
As part of its renowned Community Fair Trade program, the Body Shop is turning India’s trash into sustainable packaging.
The British beauty company announced last week that it plans to purchase 600 tons of waste plastic next year – which, for comparison, is approximately equal to the weight of 150 African elephants – and wants its competitors to follow.
The Body Shop began sourcing plastic waste from Bangalore, India, five years ago. The waste is reduced down to plastic granules which are then turned into product packaging.
The initiative is finally coming to fruition after half-a-decade of collecting enough raw materials to meet the retailer’s packaging needs.
The Body Shop is also encouraging its competitors to join the Plastics For Change supply organization and begin sourcing plastic waste from its suppliers.
Without widespread intervention, more than a billion tons of plastic waste is projected to flow into the world’s oceans or end up in a landfill over the next two decades.
Kudos, to The Body Shop
Retail sales appear to be looking up in Europe. In Germany, the nation’s HDE retail association said last week it expected nominal sales to grow by 1.5% this year despite the temporary sales slump brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
The HDE cited the government’s stimulus measures for boosting private consumption and booming online sales for the growth.
The HDE said the pandemic has accelerated transformation in retail, noting that consumers were changing their shopping habits to the benefit of digital retailers.
In the UK, British retail grew this month at the fastest rate since April 2019, according to a survey released last week by the Confederation of British Industry.
In the U.S., foot traffic to restaurants and stores showed little improvement last week. Data collected from cellphone tracking firm Unacast showed that the gradual return to close contact businesses has largely stalled following improvement over the summer.
And, as an aside, if you haven’t already heard – a lot of buzz was created last week when Gucci teased its upcoming collaboration with The North Face.
And finally, although foot traffic in physical spaces has dwindled in the US, Nike is celebrating a big win after seeing its digital sales soar to 82% during the fiscal first quarter.
The company is on track to have its digital sales represent 50% of total revenue in the coming years.
Like Nike, athleticwear retailer Lululemon has watched its digital business boom this year with online sales rising 157% during this quarter.
Echoing the HDE’s earlier statement, Nike CEO John Donahoe said last week that the accelerated consumer shift toward digital is “here to stay” and that digital is fueling the future of retail.
And there you have it folks: We’ll be back next week in our normal format to explore what’s new in the world of retail.