As the world makes progress toward environmental sustainability, retailers are becoming increasingly driven to make eco-friendly decisions, both in the interest of the planet and their customers’ preferences. Whether it is a supermarket offering organic and vegan food options or plastic packaging being replaced with easily biodegradable alternatives, green-minded changes are being made across the high street.
To match this cultural zeitgeist, retailers are transforming their store aesthetics. The furniture and shelving that was previously chosen for its practicality and style are no longer compatible with the natural and environmentally friendly images brands wish to support. What good is swapping carrier bags for paper alternatives if store displays are created from plastic? Consistency of style is essential and it enables you to communicate your brand’s ethics at every level.
Here are four great ways to reconsider and transform your store design, making it both stylish and sustainable, without compromising your brand.
Shrink Your Footprint
The energy consumption of a retail space can be staggering. Lighting, heating, air conditioning, security, customer facilities; each part contributes to a substantial carbon footprint. Choosing an energy supplier that offers 100% renewable energy is a superb way of offsetting this environmental cost.
Infographic provided by Eagle Flexible Packaging, a flexible packaging company
Historically, green energy options have been neglected on the basis of their expense. However, they are now becoming more affordable and many suppliers are able to offer subsidised or combination energy packages. If they remain out of reach of your budget, your store can still reduce its impact by eliminating excess energy usage, such as keeping the store’s lights off overnight.
There is little good in offering eco-friendly product if they are displayed on environmentally costly retail furniture and shelving. Move away from industrial aesthetics and displays, choosing, instead, organic and natural alternatives. Each part of your store, from its slatwall panels to shop counter, can be created with eco-friendly materials, or those styled in a natural fashion to emphasise your brand’s interest in sustainability.
Recycled material or second-hand furniture items are an even better option, not only showcasing your dedication to going green but also making your store space unique, helping it to stand out among the high street. If the concept of incorporating second-hand or upcycled furniture into your shop space is intimidating, start small and create displays first and then tackle the bigger projects when you have the confidence.
A store could be entirely run on renewable energy and yet, without creating the right atmosphere, customers might not know. It is essential that your store makes an eco-friendly impression. A great way to do this is with natural lighting.
Welcome in as much natural light to your store as possible, adjusting displays and store furniture to minimise its obstruction. In addition to reducing the costly reliance on artificial alternatives, it leaves a far more pleasant impression.
Consider The Details
Offering paper bags but still using plastic stickers? Replacing plastic straws but still printing receipts with each purchase? While the pursuit of sustainability can seem endless, it is a good idea to consider each detail that is essential to a customer’s shopping experience.
Swap your paper receipts for virtual alternatives. Use paper tags instead of stick-on labels. By making these small changes, each stage of the shopping process will remind the customer how much value you place upon sustainability.