Brick-and-mortar electrical distributors may struggle to compete with the low prices of internet sellers, but they can build value in other ways such as offering design control for manufacturers, writes Bridget McCrea. "We know that some customers pretty much just have Amazon as one of their screens, and that they use it to see what the site offers them in terms of price, delivery, and availability," says Rexel's Maxwell Gabin.
Private-label branding is no longer optional for distributors, even if they must look outside their company to find the people needed to run such a program, writes John Gunderson. He discusses three typical stages of a distributor's strategy for private-label branding.
National Geographic launched its "Planet or Plastics?" campaign to reduce the 18 billions pounds of plastic waste that end up in the ocean each year. The company will use paper packaging instead of plastic for its publications in India, the UK and US and will invest in research efforts and corporate partnerships.
Chinese regulators have developed an incentives program in Beijing to encourage residents to sort their recycling. Residents who correctly sort waste can earn points that can be redeemed for prizes.
French clothing brands could be required to recycle or donate unsold clothing instead of sending it to the landfill or incinerator. "Whether it's through pressure from legislators or consumers, a lot of signals say the time is right for the industry to rethink their business model," says Francois Souchet of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Canadian tour company Ambassatours uses vintage 1960s Routemaster buses to shuttle tourists around Nova Scotia and uses 3D printing to create replacement parts.
Google Store customers will be able to return Google devices they received as a gift. Customers will receive store credit.
The fashion industry can bring products to market faster through collaboration and the use of advanced analytics to gather insight about customers and their buying habits, McKinsey analysts write. "Another lever for shortening the production phase is standardized vendor-management tools and interfaces," they note.
The ingredients for most Procter & Gamble products are now available on the SmartLabel website. "Those who want this information are seeking product information online before going shopping, and if they want more at the shelf, they almost always have a phone with them, so it is easy to access," says Kathy Fish, P&G's chief research, development and innovation officer.
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