Retail and eCommerce Round-up

Co-op to Ditch Plastic ‘Bags for Life’ Over Pollution Concerns

Source: The Guardian

While the “bag for life” scheme was founded with good intentions, many environmentalists now argue that it’s doing more damage than good. More plastic is used to create the “bags for life” than the old single-use carrier bags, but shoppers are rarely reusing these new bags, defeating the point of the initiative. In response to this, Co-op has announced that it will put a halt to the sale of plastic “bags for life” in its stores.

Due to the failed “bag for life” scheme and the spike in PPE caused by the pandemic, the world is facing a huge plastic problem that must be addressed. Supermarkets are now starting to play their part in this fight. Earlier this month, Morrisons became the first UK supermarket to stop selling plastic bags, instead offering paper ones and reusable tote bags. If all supermarkets adopt this approach, the amount of plastic being produced should fall significantly.

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Aldi Eyes Possible Cashierless Store Format with ‘Shop & Go’ Trademark

Source: Retail Week

Aldi recently filed a trademark application for “Shop & Go”, a cashierless store format that would remove the need for checkouts. Current details of the trademark application are limited, but it’s clear that Aldi want to emulate Amazon Fresh, which recently opened in the UK. Amazon Fresh is a grocery store with no checkouts, instead operating using an app. Shoppers scan a code using the app when they enter the store, select their items, and are charged when they exit the store. This new way of shopping removes the need for cashiers and also makes queuing a thing of the past. It’s also rumoured that the German discount grocer is interested in exploring in-store scanning devices for customers, similar to Asda’s Scan & Go.

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Younger Shoppers Prefer Brands with Sustainable Couriers

Source: TameBay

Over the past year, headlines have been largely dominated by the global pandemic, but the biggest challenge the human race has faced still looms overhead. For too long, generations have disregarded global warming and failed to implement essential preventative measures. In a recent documentary, David Attenborough argued that it’s too late to reverse all of the damage we’ve caused the earth and we must all take immediate action to save our planet.

A recent study has shown that younger shoppers prefer brands with sustainable couriers and are most likely to consider the CO2 emissions of their online shopping when making a purchase. The article states “Yodel have released new research for Earth Day which shows that more than half of 18-34-year-olds prefer to shop with a retailer if they used sustainable couriers focused on reducing their emissions.” The data also revealed that 42% of consumers would happily wait longer for their order if its carbon footprint was lower.

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End of an Era for Debenhams as Final Shops Set to Close

Source: BBC

Earlier this year, Debenhams announced its plan to close all stores forever, ending more than 200 years of trade on our high streets. The store closures have forced thousands of staff out of a job and left a hole in many loyal customers’ hearts. But, for those loyal customers that also enjoy shopping online, there is some good news. Online fashion retailer Boohoo bought Debenhams for £55m back in January, meaning the well-known brand will continue trading through its website. The global pandemic was such a big blow to the department store chain, it has now officially closed its doors for the first time in its 242 year history.

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