Six retailers that fuel shopper engagement by doing good

by Infor Retail April 28, 2016 Customer Experience

More and more retailers are stepping up to the plate when it comes to corporate giving, creating a winning situation for everyone involved. Shoppers feel good about making purchases from socially responsible companies, charities and communities benefit from these companies’ generosity, and retailers gain long-term customer loyalty. Sephora, Kenneth Cole, and Whole Foods are among the many retailers who are already doing do-gooding right. Here’s a look at six others, starting with a retail philanthropy trailblazer…

This shoe empire has become a symbol of successful corporate giving with a simple buy-one-give-one model donates a pair of shoes to those in need for every pair bought. In recent years, TOMS has evolved its buy-one-give-one philanthropy to eyewear as well. The company’s clearly defined purpose has created intense loyalty among its customers and employees alike.

2. Build-A-Bear
Stuffed animals have an emotional pull—so it only makes sense that this build-it-yourself toy chain partners with charities to promote playfulness and wildlife protection. In addition to working with KaBOOM! to build playgrounds and the World Wildlife Fund to fund wilderness preservation, the company also launched an interactive toy line to help find families for homeless pets.

3. CVS Health
Can a company help create a tobacco-free generation? CVS thinks it can. In 2014, the drugstore chain halted the sale of all tobacco products at its more than 7,600 stores. Then, the company committed to a five-year, $50 million initiative to help people kick tobacco for good. Through further partnerships with public health organizations, CVS is spearheading an aggressive strategy to the stop the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the US.

4. Starbucks
Since its founding, sustainable production has been one of Starbucks’ main focuses, and the coffee giant implements specific guidelines to ensure environmental leadership, economic accountability, and product quality. It continues to demonstrate itself as a community advocate with post-consumer recycling programs, clean water initiatives, and higher employee wages. Consumers have responded, giving Starbucks one of the highest earning growth rates of any retailer.

5. Levi Strauss
The inventor of blue jeans is innovating again—and this time, Levi Strauss is going green by recycling, reusing, and reducing the materials it uses in its products. With an increasing percentage of its clothes produced using sustainable techniques, Levi Strauss has seen a new dynamism for the brand that’s been reflected in its sales and profits.

6. The Body Shop
Considered a pioneer of modern corporate responsibility, this retailer has championed a variety of causes—from battling against animal testing and safeguarding the environment, to establishing community trade principles that help bring about social change. Despite the company’s purchase by L’Oréal and the passing of its founder, The Body Shop’s commitment to its core causes makes it one of the most trusted retail brands in the world.