InsighTCC: March round-up - TCC
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InsighTCC: March round-up

It’s that time again! Welcome back to another edition of the InsighTCC monthly round-up, full to the brim with news and views from the world of retail and beyond. This time around we take a look at some sustainable brand moves, the benefit of keeping things local on social, and even a potential pandemic silver lining. Plus, we take a look at how brands are putting their customers first and their products second, as well as some “home improvements” with sizeable budgets along two of the most iconic shopping streets in the world.

Repair, re-use, re-assemble: IKEA launch eco initiatives 
IKEA has used their last few months of (relative) down time to launch a number of sustainable initiatives. These include offering vouchers to customers who return old furniture which are then resold in stores, the introduction of spare parts for sale in the hope that customers can maintain their furniture for longer, and the publication of dis-assembly instructions to encourage customers to dis-assemble and then re-assemble when moving home. These are all really smart moves to align their ‘fast-furniture’ offering with a much more eco-conscious world.

Faster fashion: Using H&M’s supply chain for good
Similarly, the H&M Group have launched Treadler to turn the power of their notorious ‘fast fashion’ into sustainable change in the industry. This new initiative offers B2B clients the opportunity to utilise the vast H&M supply chain to develop sustainable fashion solutions. This allows start-ups the opportunity to by-pass crippling set-up costs and logistical challenges, so they can get their offer to market more easily. So, rather than putting in place a sustainable supply chain of their own or offering sustainable solutions post-purchase like IKEA, H&M are supporting existing fashion brands to allow them to become sustainable much faster.

Return and recycle: Ulta Beauty team up with sustainable service Loop
After looking at a couple of eco-initiatives from IKEA and H&M, we’ve got another take on the space from American cosmetic company, Ulta Beauty. They’re partnering with a recycling service called Loop to offer a return and recycle service via a bespoke website. Customers simply pay a deposit for each product, which is then refunded when they return packaging via tote bags that are delivered to their home. This is reminiscent of what Lush have been doing for years with their ‘black pots’, but it’s been transformed into an integral service in itself.

Keeping it local: Franco Manca’s Facebook pages
Since it opened its first location in Brixton, Franco Manca has become a nationwide chain. However, the business has retained its commitment to keeping things local with its social channels. The brand has central Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages, but each local restaurant has its own separate Facebook page allowing each restaurant to connect with its customers locally.  It’s a very similar approach to the one we take with the individual O2 store Facebook pages which we started to utilise a couple of years ago. They might have smaller audiences than the main brand page, but thanks to their understanding of the community and Facebook’s targeting capabilities, they have a much deeper level of engagement.

Silver linings: Retail reaps 15% cheaper rent
It’s no secret that the pandemic hasn’t made things easy for retail, but if you look really closely (and maybe squint a bit), there might be a silver lining in there somewhere. One impact of the pandemic has been cheaper rent for retailers, even in the most desirable shopping locations. Chanel, Amiri and La Perla have all signed up to new premises in the last quarter of 2020 in Soho, one of the most desirable locations in New York. Rents are at an average 15% cheaper and deals include free rent, easy exit, and sales performance thresholds. Bond Street is also an estimated 15% cheaper compared to last year, so keep an eye out.

People first, products second: Mondelez introduce empathy-focused marketing
The multinational monster, Mondelez, recently announced a new empathy-focused approach to their marketing. Dubbed ‘empathy at scale’, they’re planning to engage with consumers on a more emotional level. Global Vice President of Consumer Experience Jonathan Halvorson said, “people are more than the sum of their data points”. This is a bold move for a corporation so focused on the FMCG sector. However, as we emerge from the pandemic, a focus on how brands treat people rather than how they treat products will win more hearts and minds that ever before.

Iconic attractions: Oxford Street & Champs Elysée development plans
Two of the most iconic shopping streets in the world are about to start major redevelopment work to drive footfall post pandemic. The Champs Elysée in Paris has a €250M budget to plant trees and widen pedestrian zones, which is part of Paris’s ‘15 Minute City’ plan, in which all key services are available within a 15-minute walk of your home. And a little closer to home, Oxford Street has started developments too, widening of footpaths, creating ‘pocket parks’ and community features, as well as plans to build a tourist attraction at Marble Arch in the form of a 25 metre tall hill. These are fantastic initiatives, which once again, put the consumer first, giving them a reason to visit the shopping district and making it as easy for them to do so as possible.

Thanks for reading, and as always, keep an eye out for next month’s round-up! Missed last month’s? Don’t worry, you can find it here

Written by Team TCC
April 1, 2021

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