ALISON HUTCHINSON CBE, CEO OF PENNIES EXPLORES HOW CORONAVIRUS HAS HASTENED A FOCUS ON ‘SOCIAL PURPOSE’ FOR BUSINESSES
It wasn’t meant to be this way. If 2019 was a turbulent year for politics and economics across the globe, 2020 has shredded the playbook and left us with challenges as great as we have ever experienced. Retail, as most other industries, has had to adapt and adopt strategies to not just survive - but also thrive in this unanticipated new landscape.
A recent survey by KPMG (April 2020) found that that the “new customer” is emerging - one that is becoming more altruistic, and prioritising community and integrity over deals and profits. Covid-19 has undoubtedly resulted in a surge in community spirit but also greater demands upon businesses to contribute to the communities they serve and hard-working charities - at a time when charitable donations are dramatically shrinking.
Retailers and retail leaders are responding and exercising the leadership we know them for; increasingly placing social purpose at their core - giving it as much importance as, and using it to inform, their marketing campaigns and financial plans. A 2020 study from Porter Novelli on an executive view of businesses asserts that “purpose is here to stay” concluding that “delivering value to all stakeholders, not just shareholders, is not simply an aspirational idea for a few leading brands, but rather the new go-forward strategy.”
This article was also published in The Retailer, our quarterly online magazine providing thought-leading insights from BRC experts and Associate Members.
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