WJR Business Beat: Focus on Sustainability Declines as Prices Rise (Episode 401)

On today’s Business Beat, Jeff talks about a recent survey showing that as prices rise, as many as 60% of consumers are beginning to put less emphasis on a company’s focus on sustainability and more on simply finding the best price.

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Good morning, Paul! At a time when we now know that consumers want to do business with companies that stand for more than just making money, when it comes to focusing on doing good things to protect our environment, there’s a threshold at which consumers begin to back off on their focus on that. Of course, we all want to ensure that we leave a great future to our kids and grandkids, where it now appears consumers are beginning to pump the brakes, however, when it hits them really hard in the pocketbook. In fact, a recent survey shows as prices continued to mount, as many as 60% of consumers are beginning to put less emphasis on companies’ spending on sustainability, which of course passes those costs along to consumers and much more emphasis on buying from companies who simply provide their products or services at the best possible price. The data comes from a survey commissioned by the New West End Company and of the consumers who expect their cost of living to rise even further in the next 12 months, price of products and services are now topping their list of considerations when shopping. So much so that even if that comes at a detriment to the environment. The findings are in sharp contrast with data that shows that 3 in 10 consumers say they have been more aware of the environmental impact of their personal shopping habits, and they want to do something about it. And that is carrying over to a degree at least with some shoppers ,who are doing whatever they can, even in the face of having to spend more, such as recycling clothing, buying secondhand items and walking or taking public transport to the shops rather than driving. Jace Tyrrell, CEO of New West End Company, says with consumer prices rising it isn’t surprising that consumers are having to make difficult and compromised decisions about how they spend their money. So, Paul, let’s hope enough of us find ways to maintain a focus on sustainability while shopping for the best prices. And for those of us in business, offer helpful suggestions on how your customers can buy the goods they want and yet still feel good about a focus on sustainability. Do that, and you’ll win new customers and keep your existing ones. I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of startupnation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.


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