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The next generation of retail is here: Part 2

Exploring innovation for a better world.

In last month’s ‘Big Picture’ feature, I described the three key innovations and themes that are reshaping the retail landscape in 2024. This month’s feature will dive deeper into the first theme: Innovation for a better world. 

Innovation for a better world

Today's leading retailers are redefining success by not only reducing their environmental impact, but also maximizing their positive influence on society. The emergence of innovative concepts, processes, and technologies is spearheading a shift towards a more sustainable global retail industry. These advancements are not only benefiting the environment but also making a tangible difference in the local communities where retailers operate. The following examples demonstrate how some retail models are going beyond sustainability to create a better world.

People walking to deliver food
Photo supplied: Good Foot Delivery

Good Foot Delivery

Toronto-based Good Foot Delivery provides employment opportunities for the neuro-diverse community through a professional courier service utilizing public transit and foot delivery. Their inclusive employment approach extends to their "Good Foot Forward Employment and Training Program", aimed at helping neurodivergent individuals gain employable skills. By utilizing public transit and foot delivery, Good Foot reduces its carbon footprint while offering competitive delivery services in the Toronto area. Their commitment to inclusive employment and sustainable practices exemplifies their positive impact on both society and the environment. Good Foot Delivery is a great example of a business helping people and the planet. 

Klima Kvickly store cooler display
Photo supplied: COOP

Klima Kvickly

The Danish conglomerate COOP, which operates more than 500 supermarkets in Denmark, has created a new concept called Klima Kvickly (Climate Kvickly),collaborating with the local University to test and inspire sustainable practices. It harnesses surplus heat from refrigeration units and partners with Klima X and Aarhus University to explore eco-friendly consumption solutions. Successful initiatives, such as climate labeling and nudging strategies, are implemented across the stores, resulting in a 14% reduction in CO2 footprint, a 60% decrease in deli food waste, and increased revenue. Klima Kvickly serves as a sustainability laboratory, actively developing and testing new technologies and gathering customer feedback to continually refine its approach, collaborating with green suppliers and organizations for optimization.

We Food volunteers
Photo supplied: WeFood


The Danish chain of grocery shops WeFood has been combatting food waste since it was founded in 2016 by NGO DanChurchAid.

WeFood does so by selling discarded products donated by producers and retailers at 30-50% discounts in supermarkets accessible to all. Run by over 200 volunteers, profits from sales support global projects addressing hunger and climate change. WeFood's triple approach directly addresses food waste, supports global initiatives, and raises awareness through in-store campaigns, contributing to a comprehensive solution to the global issue of food waste.

Stay tuned: Next month we will dive deeper into innovation for an enhanced experience.

To read more about these case studies and many more, download your free copy of our Global Retail Trends and Innovations 2024 HERE.

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