Retail with a conscience

Retail with a conscience

I just got back from London. I saw a store that caught my attention. I want to share it with you. Before I do, however, I do want to warn you that I am not at all in favor of businesses that espouse a green message without backing up the statement with action.

HowiesHowies stores, like this one on London’s Carnaby Street, use their window space to promote a public interest message.

So, this store is called Howies. They sell clothing. They seem to have a conscience. They buy well and sell with advice and great customer service; or so it seems. But this is what caught my attention, their window. I loved the message. It was simple enough that the picture should speak for itself. If you go to their site, you will see that each of their stores engages in a different message.

The lesson to be learned is that our business community can use their commercial space to promote strong public interest messages. I think we need more of this. Again, we have to be careful to not let ‘bad’ business get away with the use of a ‘good’ message to cleanse their conscience. But if the message brings constructive change, it’s worth the risk.

In their defense, I will say this, they are taking a risk. Rather than use the space to sell products or services, they are using it for a non-profit message. If they are not careful, they could lose sales, rather than increase them. So in that sense, kudos to them.

I will say one negative thing about their particular message. It’s a great message but it has nothing to do with their business. Burning fat has nothing to do with clothing. Maybe, if they read this blog, they’ll look for messages that have more to do with their core business.

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Cemil Alyanak

Communicator. Perception analyst. Filmmaker. Photographer. Senior Policy Advisor. Amateur Radio Operator. Military officer. Pilot. Adventure biker. Husband and dad.

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