What makes a sustainable retail display


Sustainability is probably one of the hottest topics in the retail industry right now.

The pressure is on for brands and retailers as consumers drive demand for eco-alternatives and environmentally friendly products.

But it actually goes beyond just products. Indeed, the way that brands and retailers promote and display them is just as important in the eyes of the shopper. Consumers are savvy, and reward those making visible and active steps to be more sustainable in-store with increased spend and engagement.

But what makes a retail display sustainable? There are a number of factors to consider to make a retail display truly ‘eco-friendly’.

In this article, we explore what makes a sustainable retail display…

Material origin

Retail display materials are manufactured all over the world (and mostly not in the UK). This means materials have often been shipped in containers or transported by air. Either way, these materials will have a much larger carbon footprint than those sourced from the UK.

However, sourcing from outside of the UK is often unavoidable. But understanding the associated carbon footprint of your supply chain is a good step in the right direction – as you can then work towards either reducing it or offsetting it completely.

We’ve worked hard to understand the origins of all of our materials. Our exclusive ECO range has been carefully researched, to ensure that we understand their associated carbon footprint. Discover the ECO range and get a tree planted in your name. 

Material recyclability

Considering what will happen to your display and VM materials at the end of their in-store life is important. Can your planned materials be recycled and how? Are the recycling channels easy? If the products can’t be recycled from the store, what processes need to be in place to send them to the right place for recycling?

We work with a number of our clients to recycle the retail graphics removed from their stores at end-of-life. When we’re on site installing a new promotion or campaign, we simply remove and return the graphics to our facility, where we have access to much wider recycling channels than those at store level.

Interested in learning more about how we can help you to recycle more after each campaign? Email us on hello@kgkgenix.com

Discover more about environmentally friendly retail graphics in our post: Sustainable Retail Graphics and Displays: The Ultimate Guide


How long will your display be in-store for? Can it be reformatted and redressed for future campaigns at the end of the original promotion?

Planning for the long haul is not only a more sustainable approach, it’s cost-effective too. While creating long-lasting displays can be a more expensive initial outlay, you’ll save in the long run by not having to keep replacing it each time you want a different look in-store.

Some temporary display materials are now designed to last much longer than a few weeks. Depending on how long you want to use your display in-store, you could check to see whether semi-permanent display materials might work.

Reuse or repurpose

This goes hand-in-hand with longevity. Consider how your retail displays could be used for future promotions or in-store campaigns.

For example, could you update the graphics? Can the messaging be easily updated by in-store retail staff, transforming it into something that looks new but is actually much more sustainable.

There are a number of ways that retail displays can be redressed to be reused and repurposed for future campaigns.

Read more in our post: How to create sustainable visual merchandising displays like a pro

Sustainable marketing

Don’t assume that people automatically know about your sustainability initiatives. Tell them. Whether you include a line in your artwork, a feature piece or a giant arrow that points it out, make sure you include it somewhere. Consumers will admire your efforts in creating something with the environment in mind.

Circular economy

Can the materials used be recycled or repurposed into something else? This could be another display or something completely different. This type of upcycling gives you a great opportunity to get creative and think of the different ways your retail display could continue on after its initial role has been fulfilled.

Partner with an eco-focussed display supplier

Making sure you pick the right display partner plays an important role in your sustainability drive. The challenge is looking under the bonnet to make sure their eco claims ring true and they are actively taking steps to become more planet-friendly themselves.

The good news is, we’re recognised in the industry and by our clients for making positive steps towards a more sustainable future. From our exclusive eco range and environmentally friendly inks, through to our green credentials and independent upcycling initiatives via local schools and colleges, we’re doing much more than simply offsetting our carbon footprint. You can read more about our ethos here.

Are you ready to create sustainable retail and visual merchandising displays?
Drop us a line on hello@kgkgenix.com or call us on 01920 461244.

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