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Shops Making You Keen as well as Green

03 February 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

Retailers could improve the shopping experience for their customers and potentially increase their profits by providing greener, healthier stores it is claimed.

The conclusion comes from a major report from the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC).

The report – Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Retail: The Impact of Green Buildings on People and Profit – recognises the notion that there is a surge in interest in health and wellbeing in the property sector. However, most retailers are currently ‘missing a key opportunity to better understand how the physical retail environment can affect staff and customers’ – including the retail experience – and therefore the impact on overall business performance.

This is despite emerging evidence which shows that greener, healthier retail stores, those which typically have good levels of daylight, fresh air and greenery, are becoming more attractive to consumers and potentially more profitable for retailers.

This report authors believe it breaks new ground by presenting ways in which retailers can measure the impact of place on profit using data, particularly on consumer behaviour which may already be available at their fingertips. 

The report was led by the UK Green Building Council and forms one of the first major outputs of WorldGBC’s global campaign Better Places for People, designed to increase the number of green buildings which support people’s health, wellbeing and productivity. The campaign is sponsored by ARUP, B+H Architects, the International WELL Building Institute, Land Securities, Lendlease, Marks & Spencer, Saint-Gobain, Skanska and Uponor.

“The days of ‘grey box retailers’ are numbered and a new breed of businesses is emerging which understands that better shopping environments lead to better experiences for consumers which, in turn, lead to better economics for retailers,” argued Terri Wills, CEO, WorldGBC. “This report is about empowering retailers to look within their own properties to understand and monetise how better, more sustainable physical environments can potentially drive profit and in doing so, ultimately strengthen the business case for greener, healthier buildings.”

Richard Francis, Principal of The Monomoy Company, who chaired the project task group added that retailers had a distinct advantage over other sectors because they had an “extensive understanding of how consumers behave, from the amount of time they spend in stores to where specifically in stores they spend that time”. Linking that behaviour to sustainable store design would be a catalyst for major change within the industry. “Change that will lead to retail spaces which are better for consumers and employees, retailers, and the environment,” he concluded.

Picture: A report from the World Green Building Council shows that retailers should look to making their outlets a more inviting experience for their customers

Article written by Robin Snow | Published 03 February 2016


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