Retailers linked to harmful pollution practices
This week, it was revealed that many high street fashion brands have been linked to sourcing clothing material from highly polluted factories in Indonesia, China and India. A report into these actions has shown that the factories are dumping highly toxic wastewater into local waterways. Due to the chemical-intensive process of making viscose, a manufactured plant-based fiber, villages nearby are facing extreme health risks.
These supply chains are showing unsustainable production processes and therefore the drastic actions needed in order to improve them. Retailers, such as Marks and Spencer and Zara, are now strengthening their focus on viscose production, encouraging suppliers to produce more responsibly and environmentally friendly. Traceability is a main concern. Inditex, the owner of Zara, will conduct in-depth research into its suppliers’ actions and enforce the necessary production standards, ultimately releasing its viscose supplier list by the end of this year. H&M will follow suit, questioning its viscose producers, and will stop sourcing from them if they are unwilling to meet expectations.
To find out more on the polluted actions click here.
Best Buy has announced it is preparing to introduce a new try-before-you-buy program for its customers later this month. Customers shopping online for items such as cameras and audio equipment will be able to click a link sending them to Lumiod, a third-party site, where they can rent the products for a trial period. A rental fee will be applied. It has been stated that approximately one out of every three customers that rent from Lumoid go on to purchase that particular product.
Best Buy wants to help consumers figure out whether they want to invest in a big-ticket item or not before buying it for good. It will help the company engage its customers earlier on, capturing their interest with the trial offering and aiding in the ‘research’ phase when it comes to purchasing an electronics product. Furthermore, it will help deter returns for the company, a costly method that results in ‘open-box’ items that are more likely to be reduced due to previous usage. The existing ‘open-box’ products will be utilized and sent to Lumiod to be used in the trial program.
Read more on the program here.
On Tuesday, Asda opened its new £100 million automated distribution center in Warrington, UK. Due to over 97% of the warehouse being automated, it is classed as one of the most ergonomically friendly distribution centers in Europe. Six hundred employees work alongside the installed robotic technology. Employees have their own standing workstations while being aided by robots and 4.5km of conveyer belts. The center contains nine robotic cranes, which control the movement of 27,000 individual pallets and are able to lift them as high as 27 meters. The distribution center has a one million square foot capacity due to the way its robots access and move stock.
It serves 140 stores across northern England, including Manchester and Liverpool, as well as North Wales. The center was developed in such a way to achieve maximum efficiency and on-time delivery of products across the region, processing around four million cases per week. Walmart, Asda’s American parent company, is now planning to replicate the center’s specific operations across its locations in the US.
More information on the distribution center can be found here.
Have a great weekend!
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