A new kind of shopper is emerging in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic
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Johannesburg - As the Covid-19 pandemic continues globally, brick-and-mortar stores that sell direct to customers, continue to face the challenges of surviving and to thrive.
There are a host of factors that go into creating an in-store experience that can’t be matched by online shopping and the experts say building relationships with return customers is one.
Since the pandemic, many shoppers are opting to buy online but they also want to make environmentally friendly choices.
Many people take great care in selecting the foods they eat, the clothes they wear and even how their favourite beauty products are made.
The world has seen a new kind of shopper emerge in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, one that is more “woke”.
Enter, Faithful to Nature, which prides itself as being the country's largest ethical and natural retailer.
The natural products giant is tackling the green economy which has achieved record growth in 2020 due to the intersection of natural health, sustainability and e-commerce.
Despite many businesses closing down as a result of the pandemic, Faithful to Nature made a bold move to open its first retail store at a time when e-commerce is spiking.
But they believe the opening of their new store at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town indicates just how a physical footprint has undeniable advantages.
With about 2% of retail currently online, Faithful to Nature aims to reach more customers off-line and also deliver on convenience to online customers through an omni-channel approach.
Chief marketing officer Simon Bowes said they are committed to their mission – to realise a world where the products consumers use, don’t hurt them, communities and the planet.
“We have witnessed this global shift with Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods Market as well as the recent success of Yuppiechef in the local space, so there’s literally no time like the present.
“We are in a privileged position, at the intersection of natural health, sustainability and e-commerce, which has seen us achieve record growth in 2020,” he said.
Faithful to Nature was established in 2006 to promote healthy living and give consumers a transparent ingredient list for all their products, a big step for the growing local sustainability sector.
The retailer is already implementing various ways to tackle the green economy – vetting each ingredient in every product offered, advocating for plastic-free products, having a 100% biodegradable label and a 99% waste-free warehouse.
It is also planning to roll out carbon neutral deliveries for all customer orders.
“The store is an extension of sustainability thinking – reflected in the materials chosen for the shop-fitting where recycled, up-cycled and sustainable materials were used as much as possible.
“We have gone with a clean, natural and relaxed feel for our stores that embodies our products and thinking about sustainability in everything we do,” shared Bowes.
The retailer is looking to expand its footprint and the plan is to open more stores around the country.
“We understand that a massive barrier to consuming more consciously is access, and that’s a problem we’re looking to solve.
“For both our customers and also for the incredible SMEs that we partner with to offer more than 10 000 natural alternatives across health, food, beauty and lifestyle,” said Bowes.
Bowes stressed that their mission can also be adopted by other retailers which in turn will bode well for the planet.
“We are noticing a speed up of conscious consumption due to a global post covid recalibration.
“This trend was there before and now has just accelerated.
“With the democratisation of information, consumers have access to the negative effects of their favourite products and are looking to find new alternatives.”