Business in the Community
Retail industry is considered as an important social institution because people spend 30% of their income to retailers in the form of products and services they buy (Newman & Cullen, 2002, p.6). Successful companies are in need of healthy society and healthy society increases the demand for business with renewed aspirations (Porter & Kramer, 2006). Doing good to the society is also a valuable business leading to the definition of corporate social responsibility in brief.
The responsibility of retail industries towards the community differs in different countries depending upon their growth and economy. According to Elkington, the responsibility of retail business lies in (i) creating economic value by being profitable, (ii) establishing ecological value by promoting activities that are beneficial to the natural environment, and (iii) creating a social value by engaging in activities that are beneficial to life and the community (cited in Idowu & Filho, 2008, p.13).
Disaster relief is one of the vital agenda of the retailer Home Depots which has been recognized as one of the most generous corporate in the United States. It donated more than $100 million between 1978 and 2000 as part of its relief effort. Its role in the wake of the September 11
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The Home Depot set up command centers at its huge store in Elmont, New York. Besides, Home Depot is committed to environmental protection. Its interest to connect community services to other parts of its operation is enormous. Its social activities in impoverished neighborhoods are worth mentioning.
Nowadays, the demand for social responsible activities from the government and public on corporate in developed countries are high. By adhering to social activities, the retail companies reap long-term benefits (Caulfield, 2001). Environmental consciousness has been prioritized by many retailers. Many retail industries are ethical in applying environmentally sound practices that add value to brand image (Reuters, 2009).
TESCO, the world’s third largest retailer known for its green credentials marches ahead with the sale of vegetable seeds, introducing ‘Grow Your Own’ movement by renting out allotments and selling live birds (Hall, 2009). As a major food retailer in the United Kingdom, TESCO created health and safety measures, employment initiatives for unemployed, and a workplace forum for the discussion of issues and concern to staff. TESCO has a unique place in the list of retailers that play a key role in corporate social responsible activities.
Siemens’ commitment to the society is well known through Siemens Caring Hands and Siemens Generation21 programs. Siemens Caring Hands devotes valuable time and effort to worthy causes in the society (Siemens USA). Philip Morris USA is committed to invest in communities to reduce environmental impacts and reduce underage tobacco usage. This has been considered as a worthwhile service to the community besides the company’s initiatives to improve its business (Phillip Morris USA).
The modern trend changes for good with many retail industries showing interest towards the community and establishing trust and relationship in the long run. The retail industries that show concern for consumers in the society during the time of recession win the hearts of people. A few responsible activities are also made mandatory for the retailers especially when it comes to health related issues.
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Newman, A. & Cullen, P. (2002). Retailing: environment & operations. UK: Cengage Learning EMEA.
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