The Future Of Green Retailing: LOHAS Is So Yesterday


One of the ambivalent miseries of being a TreeHugger writer is getting email that ranges from the insight-provoking to absurd. This week's winner offers a glimpse into the intersection of the US' economic downturn and growing consumer interest in green products.

The Chain Store Age trade show wrap up publication just received included a short article, "A New Consumer Mind-Set, For most Americans, best practices are changing," which documented an increased rate of the mainstreaming of some fairly common TreeHugger ideals. And, of some mall and big-box store transforming developments just around the corner.

Since shoppers have decided that they can no longer control the big issues, they are focusing on the little things, including watching what they spend. This was reflected in the findings of WSL's most recent How America Shops Survey...

...Shoppers across the board are cutting back on the frequency of their shopping trips and the categories that they buy.

...New values have emerged, reflected in such trends as eating healthier, charitable disposal of old clothes and furniture through donations, recycling or resale, and using eco-friendly products.

... new values are coming to the fore and consumers are no longer defining themselves by the brands they buy and wear. The designer craze, according to Liebmann, is largely over. "It's not just about having the right car or the right clothes anymore," Liebmann said. "It's about good citizenship, products that are healthier and good for the environment, and shopping stores that support their causes."

Let's assume the the WSL survey is on target. Good times ahead for Wal-mart, then.

Looks like Mr. Scott was prescient about the greening of American consumer tastes - the green product-favoring demographic, until now, had been saddled with the stereotype of a well to do, down-town green elite, the 'LOHAS' crowd if you will, quickly encompassing large numbers of both low- and middle income people.

If the LOHAS thing is new to you, Erin offers a clue here in her post: What If The Hokey Pokey IS What It Is All About?

Via::Chain Store Age, NRF Show Report (pdf file) Image credit::ibid.