Marks & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland has called for the creation of a new way to engage consumers with the sustainability agenda.
Speaking at The Cloud Retail Week Conference 2012 Bolland lamented the lack of an aspirational concept to enthuse consumers about issues such as the environment
Bolland said: “We grew up with the American Dream, the material presence of a car or a radio – it’s built on real things. It’s about status, desire, aspiration for success.
“What are the role models for a sustainable world? They’re fragmented, they’re unavailable, it’s too expensive. We need to create desire, we need to create hunger. We are not telling the customer story.”
He said that M&S is well on the way to meeting its original 100 Plan A sustainable business objectives, but a handful would not be met. Those that will not be reached include the organic food sales target. Bolland said shoppers have not been increasing their spending on organic lines at the same pace as before the recession.
Bolland also dismissed the suggestion that M&S is losing top managers at an alarming rate. In recent weeks Alison Jones, Susan Aubrey-Cound and Andrew Skinner have departed.
He said: “Three people have left among the top 100 [managers]. There is a natural churn . Every few years people come and go.”