Green retailing gets the go ahead

Heidi Easton of Shop and Display Equipment Association (SDEA) looks at a re-energised trend in retailing.

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As our nation and the retail industry in particular recovers from a crippling recession that saw a number of retail giants close their doors, the shopfittings and display industry is beginning to gain impetus. Retail display is firmly at the forefront of retailers’ minds once again. Although many retailers continued to refit and launch new stores during the economic crisis, others had to suffice with minor tweaks to instore displays to help refresh their store environments.

Thankfully all that is changing quickly. The British Retail Consortium has been reporting sales increases of varying levels for some time now and the latest results from a survey by SDEA shows 45% of respondents reporting an increase in sales of over 10% year on year. All good news!

SDEA-logo-CMYK-copyAs in fashion, trends in shopfittings and display come and go, but good instore design and display is imperative if you want to increase your sales.

Sustainability is becoming fashionable again with the likes of Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer embracing green issues with enthusiasm. Each has developed an in depth report detailing what, when, where, why and how it is applying sustainability to its business. From utilising sustainable materials, harvesting rainwater, harnessing sunlight and reducing waste, these giants are reducing their carbon footprints and their impact on the environment dramatically.

Waitrose’s new store at Chipping Sodbury is an excellent example of sustainable retailing and includes: a state of the art low carbon refrigeration system, LED lights instore and in the car park and other engineering solutions. The store promises to reduce its carbon emissions by 50%. In addition, apple and plum trees are grown outside, bat and bird boxes are located around the car park and an otter holt and community beehive have been installed. Further intelligent use of recycled plastic has been implemented for its trolley parks, car park kerbs and benches. It is a beacon of green retailing.

SDEA meanwhile is working on a new and affordable sustainability and evaluation tool. It is expected that the tool will help retail display suppliers, manufacturers and designers, and their partners assess the sustainability values of a new product from the earliest point of design. It’s difficult to deny the importance of sustainability and its impact on us all.

If you want to find out more about SDEA contact us on 01883 348911, or visit our website at www.shopdisplay.org. In the meantime, SDEA’s ten top tips will never go out of fashion, use them to help create a truly inspiring store interior that will increase your footfall and get your ‘cash tills ringing’: –

1. Strip out the clutter

2. Identify your target market

3. Create an identity

4. Convey a cohesive message

5. Create a relevant theme or feature

6. First impressions count – dress the windows

7. Good lighting and clear signage

8. Increase ambience with smells and tastes

9. Add interest and loyalty with instore events and offers

10. Good customer service