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    ‘Cost is trumping sustainability this holiday season’

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    Brands and retailers must find the right balance between providing customers with sustainability and affordability, as a recent report points out that although shoppers are still concerned over sustainability, cost is paramount for shoppers this holiday season.

    Manhattan Associates Inc., has announced the findings of a new study on Britain’s sustainable shopping habits in the lead-up to Christmas.

    The survey conducted by YouGov found that 32 per cent of Brits are not actively looking for sustainable products or brands, suggesting that shoppers are now prioritising their pockets (even more so than shopping with brands who provide convenient deliveries and returns), proving that economic factors play a significant role when it comes to sentiments around sustainability.

    “The golden quarter and holiday season is well underway but clearly the state of the economy is having an effect on customer behaviour – unfortunately, it looks as if cost is trumping sustainability just now,” reports quoted Craig Summers, managing director UKI, MEA & Nordics at Manhattan Associates, as saying.

    However, outside of the festive season, the data revealed that shoppers are still concerned with sustainability as a broader topic, and that there are growing consumer expectations for businesses to be greener. To help achieve this, customers are willing to make some sacrifices. The research found that almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of Brits believe it is important for businesses to offer sustainable packaging while over half (53 per cent) expect a sustainable product lifecycle, with returned products being actively recycled and reused.

    “This year has been tough for retailers and consumers across the board. From the domestic cost-of-living crisis – magnified by inflation and higher interest rates – to an increasingly fractured macroeconomic environment, 2023 has proved challenging for retailers and consumers alike. 

    “While inflation is beginning to ease, the road to recovery will not happen overnight. It perhaps isn’t surprising that customers are prioritising costs above all other aspects right now, especially as we approach Christmas, but hopefully we will see greener shoots of recovery for the economy, and also consumer impetus for sustainability, return in the spring,” concluded Summers. 

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