Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Do Supermarkets Need CSR Policies More Than Other Retailers?

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Do Supermarkets Need CSR Policies More Than Other Retailers?

Article excerpt

]M&S started it with 'Plan A'; now Morrisons has introduced its own CSR strategy, 'Today'. Do supermarkets have a greater need than others to be seen to behave responsibly?

NICK GRAY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, LIVE & BREATHE

Yes. Supermarkets command a powerful position on the high street and in our everyday lives and have become more than just retailers. They are powerful institutions that partially dictate how we live our lives and how the businesses that supply them are run. With that comes a social responsibility.

Having a social conscience creates a self-fulfilling, virtuous circle which benefits staff, suppliers and customers. It is imperative for the longer-term future of organisations, and consumers and staff are demanding such policies.

Sainsbury's Active Kids is a great example of a sustained CSR approach, meanwhile, John Lewis' partnership model has CSR built into its very DNA.

CILLA SNOWBALL, CHAIRMAN, ABBOTT MEAD VICKERS BBDO GROUP

Yes. Supermarkets are different from other retailers. They are woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. They are the only type of retailer that is truly indispensable and the one with which we spend the most time. As such, supermarkets have unrivalled strength, which brings with it unique responsibility.

In the supermarket, we define ourselves by the products we buy; whether we care about our kids' health, food miles, British farmers, packaging waste and carrier bags. So CSR strategies are vital. Customers care about this stuff and supermarkets are the place where they can act on it.

CSR is rapidly becoming the price of entry as well as powerful drivers of loyalty. …

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