Ethically-motivated shopping growing in importance

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Ethically-motivated shopping is an increasingly important growth market that is expected to become a major retailing trend in the near future, a new report from global real estate advisor Colliers International claims.

Consumers will choose “ethical quality over mass consumption”, it said, pointing out that last year saw a clear rise in “conscious consumption”.

It said while price remained the key driver of purchase decisions for most consumers, ethically-motivated shopping is becoming a major trend with issues such as fair pay, good working conditions, a lower carbon footprint, the recycling of materials and responsibly-sourced products increasingly important to shoppers.

Colliers also notes that the UK retail market performed “exceptionally well” last year despite the vote for Brexit. But the outlook for this year is less positive, it says.

“An increase in inflation and deteriorating labour market conditions are expected to limit consumer spending,” it said.

“Retailers are also expected to pass rising costs onto consumers as a result of a depreciation in sterling,” although prime central London locations should benefit from higher spending from international tourists.

The grocery sector remains highly competitive, the report said, and major retailers, such as Tesco, are trying to strengthen their position through mergers and acquisitions as the supermarket giant proposes doing with Booker.

Colliers touched on the increasing role of technology with mobile devices acting as the primary tools of change.

“The expansion of mobile payments will continue to reinforce the role of mobile and handheld devices,” it said.

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