Consumers and sustainability and the circular economy 2023

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Consumers are increasingly interested in sustainable products and businesses, according to a recent NRF article.  While only a small percentage of consumers are familiar with the term “circular economy,” retailers and suppliers are adopting circular practices to promote sustainability.


In a traditional economic model, raw materials are used to create goods that are eventually discarded in landfills. In contrast, the circular economy aims to reuse and recycle products, materials, and resources to prevent waste and regenerate nature.

To ensure you are meeting your customer needs, retailers must have the capability to:

1. Attribute Assortment: Retailers should be able to attribute their product assortment, specifically identifying which clothing items are sustainable. This involves clearly labeling or categorizing sustainable products.

2. Show Sustainability: Retailers must display this sustainability information to shoppers, making it easily accessible and visible.   This can be accomplished simply by having a product identifier that instructs suppliers to include a sustainability label for the respective product.

3. Quantify Sustainability:  Retailers need to quantify the sustainability of their offerings. This means knowing what percentage of their total product range is sustainable. This information can be shared with customers to demonstrate the retailer’s commitment to sustainability.

In essence, it’s about effectively communicating the sustainability aspects of your product assortment to customers and being able to provide concrete data on the proportion of sustainable products within your overall inventory.


What is new in Retail:

Dollar General faces a challenge with a 3.4% increase in stock levels year over year in Q2, coupled with declining profits and sales. To address this, the company plans to clear inventory, especially in non-consumable categories, with an estimated $95 million hit to operating profit due to markdowns. Additionally, Dollar General will invest $25 million in an improved inventory and demand forecasting tool. This move comes as other retailers have already reduced excess inventory. The retailer aims to enhance its position as a low-cost operator and stabilize its supply chain for in-store stability.


Luxury goods stocks in Europe plummeted, losing over $25 billion in market value, primarily due to concerns about inflation’s impact on regional demand raised by Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert. LVMH’s stock price dropped 3.6 percent, pushing its market capitalization below $400 billion, and other luxury groups like Richemont, Swatch, Kering, and Hermes International also faced declines. HSBC Holdings attributed the challenges to a stronger euro and higher short-term growth costs, further exacerbated by worries about China’s economic slowdown, which affects a significant portion of industry revenue. Additionally, the luxury sector is contending with a post-pandemic sales decline following a surge driven by low-interest rates and pent-up savings.

Pantone, the global authority on color, predicts that New York Fashion Week colors for spring/summer 2024 will evoke nostalgia while symbolizing the desire for positive change. According to Pantone’s color trend report, these colors will bring to mind sweet aromas, warm waters, and vibrant energy, reflecting a “new sense of freedom” post-pandemic. The top 10 standout colors range from a tangy red-orange to a refreshing peppery green, encouraging self-expression and joy. Additionally, there are five new core classics, including clean whites, earthy taupes, and soothing grays, blending tradition with contemporary appeal. These colors aim to inspire a sense of hope and artistic expression for the present moment.

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Assortment Planning
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