Sustainability in the retail industry has different aspects like social, environmental, and economic. Social sustainability is concerned with the industry’s relations with people and society while environmental sustainability is concerned with the industry’s effects on the environment. Economic sustainability can be regarded as related to both since none of them can be regarded separately. Each aspect of sustainability carries great importance to the retail industry in the world’s and people’s best interest. Therefore, economic sustainability in the retail industry is crucial for the world, society, and corporations. If you want your business to thrive while helping the world with all its components, you should learn more about economic sustainability!

What Is Economic Sustainability?

One of the three aspects of sustainability, economic sustainability is about achieving continuous economic growth while paying regard to social and environmental issues. Economic sustainability is more about long-term growth rather than quick success. While trying to achieve sustainable development, the main goal is to meet the needs without jeopardizing the future. Several concerns of social sustainability such as poverty, and quality of life; and several concerns of environmental sustainability such as the use of renewable and affordable energy can be regarded within economic sustainability as well. In a way, you can think of economic sustainability as the conservation of resources in order to maintain long-term development. 

Why Should You Invest in Economic Sustainability?

Economic sustainability approaches will have many different impacts on your business. But before your business and its internal running system, you should consider what keeps your business running in the first place: the world and people. In order for a company to achieve sustainable development, it should consider economic sustainability within the company, nation, and worldwide. For instance, in the US, 14.4% of people (approximately 48 million people) live below the minimum standard of living which is less than 2 dollars a day. Even that number alone is enough to see that the world needs economic sustainability approaches. If the nations and the world achieve sustainable development, only then the corporations which depend on people can fulfill their sustainable development goals. Nowadays many businesses rely on unsustainable practices, i.e. exhaustible resources. If a resource that is crucial for your business becomes no longer available, your business will face the same results. Aiming for quick success is likely to face the same result as well; it will eventually lose its source of energy. That is why you should always think about continuity instead of fast success. 

Another point worth mentioning would be protecting what your company already has. If you try to achieve fast success, you might have to cut back on your revenues which naturally happens during the growth of a business. If you try to accelerate this growth process, you might take risky steps at the wrong times and risk your business. Instead, you can plan a long-term development strategy that will be sustainable. 

Economic Sustainability Practices for Retailers

Improvement of Supply Chain

Since economic sustainability cannot be thought of on an individual basis, the practices in supply chain management should be environmentally and socially sustainable as well. When you adopt socially and environmentally sustainable practices, your business will eventually become economically sustainable. For instance, if you provide fair working conditions and fair pay for your employees in your supply chain, this will result in high employee satisfaction and retention rates which will increase productivity in your business. This can be regarded as a short-term effect when environmental approaches are considered. Environmentally sustainable practices in the supply chain have more long-term effects. For example, using renewable energy sources is a practice that will have economically sustainable effects on the business in the long term. Apart from renewable energy, the improvement of the supply chain will ensure that you don’t have any mishaps which will cost you time and money while creating waste and increasing your carbon footprint.

Sales Strategies

While economic sustainability can be gained through several improvements in corporate governance, it can be gained through sales strategies. In your retail business, you must have several different sales strategies for each period in a year. These strategies might need some changes or improvements if you want sustainability to be a part of your business. Every retail business can experience problems from time to time. For example, you can experience overstocking problems. Surplus stock issues can stem from decreased sales or seasonal trend changes. Then this issue costs you money with the stock remaining unsold which eventually results in waste. To resolve this problem, you can make seasonal discount offerings to empty your stock or use personalized campaigns. 

Environmentalist Approach

Economic sustainability cannot be fully achieved without environmentalist approaches. If you want your business to thrive, you should consider every environmentally sustainable practice. These practices can be both eco-friendly and cost-effective like recyclable packaging. 

Additionally, if you want to minimize your carbon footprint while maintaining an economically sustainable approach, you can encourage your customers to make their purchases online with campaigns only for online shopping. This will decrease the emissions of each customer’s personal vehicle. With the delivery companies trying to find the most energy-efficient strategies and environment-friendly packaging, online purchasing can affect your carbon footprint. Decreasing your carbon footprint will not only make your business environmentally sustainable but also help you become economically sustainable through the conservation of resources and minimizing waste.

Long-Term Growth with Economic Sustainability

As in all dimensions of sustainability, the aim of economic sustainability is to ensure continuous development by considering the future of the world and people. It is not possible to provide efficiency and development without taking into account the future of people and the world, which is the basis of businesses in many sectors. Therefore, for a sustainable future and continuous development, you should turn to sustainable practices in all areas of your business. Economic sustainability, on the other hand, is a small but very effective area of this multidimensional approach. Now is the time to prepare your economic sustainability plans and take long-term solid steps!