An increasing amount of Australian consumers are becoming ‘eco shoppers’ and don’t mind paying a little bit extra to clear their conscience, according to organic retail success story, Pierce Cody, director of Macro Wholefoods.

Having effectively expanded an organic food store in Bondi Junction into a chain of eight supermarket/cafés in Sydney and Melbourne, Cody believes that consumers are becoming more environmentally aware and are looking to retailers for eco-friendly stores, products and experiences, regardless of the bottom line.

“Retailers need to stay attuned to customer feedback, and ‘conscious consumers’, as I like to call them, are impressed by eco-friendly retailers,” says Cody, who will be a presenter at the National Retail Forum this month.

Eco shoppers tend to ‘interrogate’ product labels, marketing campaigns and staff, all with the planet’s wellbeing in mind. They are however, willing to overlook higher prices if retailers offer genuine ‘green’ options.

“Today’s conscious consumers expect retailers to be ‘green’ and are willing to pay for that because they also get the ‘feel good’ feeling that comes with making the choice to look after the environment,” he says.

“Like all things, some consumers will see eco shopping as a passing fad, while some others have it truly embedded in their psyche and they are becoming a growing majority.”

Cody will feature amongst an impressive line up of speakers at the National Retail Forum, including one of Al Gore’s climate change leaders, Gilbert Rochecouste, director, Village Well. Rochecouste will discuss examples of Australian, European and US retailers that are profiting from making environmental statements.

Running alongside the National Retail Forum is Retail Expo Australasia, Australia’s largest retail exhibition. Showcasing environmentally friendly products including energy efficient lighting systems with 50,000 hour life and solar guard roofing that blocks over 99 per cent of ultraviolet radiation and 95 per cent of infrared heat, Retail Expo will offer retailers the information and products they need to respond to this growing window of opportunity.

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