Retailers are doubling down on sustainability as big names and start-up brands alike launch repair and recycling schemes and even turn to QR codes to let shoppers find out for themselves how sustainable a purchase is. Here’s an overview of retail trends witnessed by Mood Media, global specialist in elevating the customer experience at the point of sale.


Beauty recycling at Harrods

Luxury retailer, Harrods, has launched a beauty recycling scheme for its chain of H Beauty outlets. The launch follows a successful pilot in its Milton Keynes store and is now being rolled out across its stores including London, Bristol, Gateshead and Edinburgh. It is being run in partnership with recycling specialist, MyGroup. The principle is that customers want to prevent the risk of used tubes and cases going to landfill and so would rather recycle responsibly. Now, when they return to a H Beauty store, they can place items in a recycle bin near the cash registers and receive up to 500 loyalty points for every five pieces of packaging and inner cosmetic casing they return.

Digital ‘passports’ for fashion

Womenswear brand, Nobody’s Child, has come up with an innovative way to help customers make more informed purchasing decisions. It has launched a new QR code system that will allow a potential buyer to find out more details about how each garment has been made. By scanning the QR code, a list of materials used will be displayed, alongside information on where they came from and what the environmental impact of making the piece adds up to. The QR code will also open up links to circular services, including repair and rental options. Additionally, once purchased, the owner will receive a digital token as both a receipt and proof of ownership. This is tapping into a new trend among shoppers who are keen to use their mobile phones to discover more information about what they are considering taking home with them. The Mood Media In-Store Trends 2023 research found that three in four shoppers are keen to scan a QR code on their mobile to discover more about a product or product lines.

Primark to roll out click and collect

No modern retailer can be unaware of the virtues of an omnichannel strategy and now one of the UK’s largest chains of affordable stores is rolling out click-and-collect. Primark is unlike many rivals in that it does not offer home delivery but is now, instead, launching click-and-collect on kids and womenswear at 57 of its stores. The company has told Reuters that an early pilot has gone well, and the business has found it encourages more people to come to its stores to pick up items and make additional purchases. The company has maintained its position on online ordering for home delivery, though. It claims that because its price points are low, the cost of fulfilment does not make economic sense for a home delivery service.


Veja doubles down on repair service in Paris

Veja has unveiled its new general store in Paris which is dedicated to not only showcasing its range of sneakers but also making sure they last longer. Sustainability is a huge issue for modern shoppers with nearly two in three shoppers, 63%, revealing in the Mood In-Store Trends 2022 research that they expect retailers to offer repair services.  The retailer already has repair services in several of its stores, but this is the first time a major part of a prime outlet has been dedicated exclusively to repair. The idea originated from a dedication to recycling which made the retailer hit on the idea that the best way to stop old shoes from going into waste bins was to mend them, so they are as close to their original state as possible.


Pre-loved gets the star treatment in New York

Pre-loved shopping has arrived in-store at H&M for the first time. The fashion retailer’s new concept store in SoHo, New York has a dedicated section where customers can browse and buy pieces a previous owner no longer needs. The idea is obviously more effective than recycling or relegating an item to the back of a cupboard. Not only does a new wearer get to enjoy a piece, but there is also no need to recycle a garment and no chance of it ending up in landfill. H&M had trialled pre-loved shopping on its website previously and the response was so positive that it has now taken the step to launch it as a distinct in-store experience. 

‘Grabandgo’ pilot for Aldi

A lot of supermarkets are interested in self-checkout options, but Aldi has taken this to a new level at its store in Aurora, Illinois. It is the chain’s first location to allow people to check out without manually scanning individual items. Instead, the store has hundreds of tiny cameras in the ceiling that can detect what a person is putting in their basket and keeps a running tally. When they are all done and approach the cash register area, there is no need for a queue. Anyone who has downloaded the Grabandgo need only scan a QR code to automatically pay for their shopping. Each customer needs to register for the service in advance and add a debit or credit card to pay for goods. After that, they can, as the app’s tagline suggests, Grab.Shop.Go. The app’s developers recently announced a deal with South American convenience store chain, Copec, to install the technology in 100 of its outlets.

Nordstrom pop-up in New York

The well-known retailer has designed a corner of its New York flagship store that will be home to pop-ups from partner brands. Unsurprisingly perhaps, the new idea is called The Corner and is debuting with the launch of Bode at The Corner. The luxury fashion retailer, Bode, is using the pop-up concept to bring a range of men’s garments designed around the look and feel of antique textiles. The new pop-up opens on April 7th with items starting at just under $200 and ranging up to $2,200.

South Korea

Carbon-neutral Apple Store opens in Seoul

Sustainability lies at the heart of Apple’s 100th store in the APAC region. The Apple Store in Hongdae, Seoul is rated as carbon neutral thanks to some clever design features. In particular, it uses bio-terrazzo flooring that is sourced from plant-based materials and the building runs entirely on 100% renewable energy. Sustainability remains a huge concern for modern shoppers. In fact, the recent Mood Media In-Store Trends 2023 report found it was a prime motivator for nearly four in five shoppers, 78%, in picking which physical stores to visit. This was not limited to a particular group of customers but rather cut across all age groups, genders and regions.

PSG shoots for Seoul

French football team, PSG, has launched a new flagship store in Seoul, after identifying South Korea as its biggest commercial market for merchandise outside Europe. The country is already its second-biggest ecommerce market. The new store offers the feeling of a changing room of a top team with customers able to buy shirts from pegs reserved for each player. There is a wealth of merchandise on offer aside from replica kits, such as a range of exclusive beanie hats, keychains, bandanas, badges and caps which the store is saying will only be available in the region in limited numbers.