My definition of sustainability...

Is maintaining a balance when considering the economy, environment and social issues which may affect your business in order to be successful in the market that the business is in.


The main factors of sustainability is environmental, economic and social. A company need to bare these factors in mind to enable them to achieve their aim and objectives. However other factors should be thought of and they come under PESTLE, which stands for Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental. These factors may vary from time to time however others may change very quickly and can have a negative impact on a retailer.


Political factors which may affect a retailer are things such as the state of the government, what party is in control, minimum wages, the governments relationship with other countries. A very recent political issue which would affect retailers based in the UK and have stores around Europe is the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. Being part of the EU allowed businesses to trade more efficiently and it created a much easier process for retailers to open up stores in other EU countries. However now the UK have left retailers will need to consider the cost of keeping stores in the UK or in EU countries, getting stock to and from stores would have increased even the price to rent the store. A retailer may need to decide whether they are making enough revenue and have a large enough demographic to remain in that particular country; this is a risk as it reduces their popularity and target market.


Factors such as what a country's financial status would affect a retailer, whether a country is in recession, inflation rates, how much revenue as a whole the country are making. If a country is in a recession or in decline then a retailer would feel the affect of this especially if they are a high end retailer or a more expensive high street retailer, they may see a loss in revenue and number of customers demanding their clothes. Whereas a retailer selling cheaper clothes could see an increase or sales to remain the same because they are providing clothes which are at a more reasonable price during difficult times.


Demographics, standard of living, education, equal opportunities, population and culture trends. A retailer would need to consider before opening a store what kind of people live in that area and what they may demand from that store. In addition whether there are enough people of a certain age who would be willing to work in the store because the company want each store to run smoothly and give good service. An example would be if a retailer wanted to open a store in a small town and the population was small they wouldn't want to buy a large store but rather get a store that is more 'C' grade.


This part of PESTLE has become very important for a business to expand even more, social media, website for shopping online, creating professional advertisements and images using software like Photoshop and more efficient with internally and externally. Social Media now allows retailers to promote themselves with ease and helps when showing how they want to be identified. It is also very effective way to interact with their customer, as well celebrity endorsements are now much easier to promote and have had a lot more success.


Factors that would affect a retailer would be employment laws, consumers rights and laws which a company has to abide by when running a store. An example of an employment law that a retailer would need to follow would be ensuring that all employees have the appropriate amount of breaks, this will mean that at some points sales advisors will need to be off the shop floor for a certain amount of time meaning that store need to have the right number of employees present at one time for service to continue; this may cost a brand more money but they have to follow these laws for them to be seen as a fair organisation.


Retailers need to ensure they are always aware of the environment and how they can prevent their business from producing pollution. Factors would be using natural resources, what freight they use, where they retrieve their materials from, what happens to faulty clothing is it just thrown away or can it be reused. Brands can gain a lot of media attention in a negative way if they aren't environmentally friendly.