A recent report conducted by Landsec and Bradshaw Advisory has shed light on the benefits of building a sustainable business in the retail sector. The study revealed that not only does operating in a sustainable retail environment benefit the environment, but it can also lead to improved sales for brands. Landsec, which owns and operates well-known malls such as Bluewater, Lakeside, and St David’s, found that brands renting space in sustainable retail destinations could potentially experience a revenue increase of up to 13% over a period of ten years. Furthermore, these sustainable destinations could also see a rise in footfall by 6%, which has the potential to inject up to £100 million into local economies.

The research conducted by Landsec aimed to delve into the concept of sustainable retail and its impact on consumers, brands, and local authorities. It aimed to understand how sustainable retail contributes to the creation of a flourishing retail environment that positively affects both communities and the planet. Through representative public polling, the study revealed that a key aspect of sustainable retail according to consumers is “localism.” This means that consumers prioritize supporting local businesses and initiatives in their retail choices. The public identified key elements of sustainability which included creating job opportunities for local people, using local suppliers, and supporting local independent brands.

Interestingly, the preference for localism was consistent across all age groups, with middle-aged individuals showing the strongest preference. This sentiment was also echoed by local authorities such as Leeds, Portsmouth, Glasgow, Manchester, Camden, Westminster, and Lewisham, who expressed agreement with the emphasis on localism. Bruce Findlay, Managing Director – Retail at Landsec, stressed the importance of a greater focus on sustainability to continue driving value in the retail industry. He highlighted the significance of collaboration with brand partners and local authorities in order to meet sustainability goals and effectively respond to the needs of the community.

The research conducted by Landsec demonstrates that sustainable retail destinations not only benefit the environment but also have the potential to drive revenues and footfall. By prioritizing localism and working collaboratively with brand partners and local authorities, the retail sector can create more opportunities for local communities and continue to generate value for cities. Overall, this report underscores the importance of sustainability within the retail industry and shines a light on its potential profitability.

Useful links:
Retail Dive: Sustainability in Retail 2021
Forbes: How E-commerce Startups Can Build a Sustainable Business