Six Retail Trends You Need To Know About

The U.S. retail sector represented 4.5 trillion dollars in 2007 and so when retailers talk about trends we should listen. A new study released by The Aberdeen Group shows where retailers are going when it comes to going green. The good news is that the opportunities for eco-entrepreneurs will continue to grow.

According to Environmental Leader, the new report titled “Getting From Green To Gold: Retail Success Factors and Outcomes” lists the six key focus areas for retailers:

  • Adopt enterprise-wide policies for green sourcing/procurement (59%)
  • Institute eco-friendly mandates for waste management (54%)
  • Institute eco-friendly mandates around packaging (48%)
  • Redesign the retail supply chain to align with green/responsible mandates (41%)
  • Offer eco-friendly end-of-life product programs to customers (41%)
  • Redesign store facilities and infrastructure around sustainability goals (35%)

What does that mean for eco-entreprenuers? Every step of the way the demand for eco-alternatives to the status quo will be on the rise. The demand for products and services that facilitate sustainability practices will touch everything from raw materials to packaging to end-of-life services.

So, when designing your offerings and creating marketing campaigns, keep these six trends in mind. Opportunities will abound for products packaged in sustainable materials that can be economically transported to processors or end users for recycling. Products and services that facilitate sustainable supply chain practices (every step!) and end-of-life consumer programs will also be in hot demand. The same holds true for businesses that provide assets, hardware and systems that green existing and new facilities.

The opportunities seem endless or as the Environmental Leader aptly puts it:

The six top actions of green retail initiatives demonstrate that practically no aspect of the retail enterprise will go untouched by the sustainability agenda.

Retailers are changing their focus and eco-entrepreneurs are likely to reap the benefits. Have you found opportunities by meeting the eco-mandates of retail clients? Please share!

Photo: Sanja Gjengo,

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About the Author

Jennifer Kaplan writes regularly about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was been named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - find her on .
  • Uncle B

    Green-washing your product line isn’t going to work! You are not dealing with people your parents age, trusting fools that they were! You are dealing with us! We sat next to you in class at college, remember? A new age us upon advertisers. An educated and discriminating public with less disposable income in hand and educations equal to yours is the challenge. Best be honest and up front, or face being laughed out of your jobs! We are not the same bunch of A**holes your texts and stats are based on, we are hard up for a raise, harder to fool, have no unions to ease our pain, have suffered layoffs, downsizing and downright screwwing in the workplace. We know what planned obscolecence is, we understand quality, we now know how mortgages, crooked or otherwise work, we read the fine print very carefully, we consult with one another unabashedly, and we have very very high expectations, if not demands. Screw just one of us and you and your product will be on the net in a day! It is our free and powerful tool against exploitation – and we all use it except John McCain, he is still waiting for a dial-tone on his computer!

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