The world has always been a physical melting oot. Now it’s virtual. The Internet, computer and cell phone have created a high-speed virtual trade route where millions of people a re remixing and sharing cultures on a global scale.
All that connectivity and consumer power-including a growing global middle class with a desire for material goods and a better life—has multinational retailers ready to globetrot. Despite its cultural diversity and inadequate infrastructure, India is a top destination for the likes of Wal-Mart, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Mango, Carrefour, Benetton and Metro. McDonald’s, with more than 100 stores serving veggie burgers, invests heavily in building its supply chain; for example, improving the quality of lettuce from local farmers. India’s 300 million middle-class consumers make it worthwhile. However, no retailer can be truly “global” until the world has commonly recognized standards, terms and IT protocols to enable and facilitate value exchange.
Digitally, however, all countries are equal. London, Mexico City, Moscow, Seoul and Tokyo are just as alive with digital commerce as the United States. Asign of the times: Coca-Cola is no longerthe world’s most recognizable brand. That honor belongs to a UO-year-old company with a history of transformation, having morphed from wood-pulp mill, to galoshes manufacturer, to wire-cable maker and now telecommunications giant: Finland’s Nokia.
Greener Global Pastures
Retail has been talking about “green” consumers for years. They now appear to be a viable market. A majority of U.S. homeowners surveyed said energy prices have increased enough to make them change their consumption habits. Add concern about global warming and desire for clean air, water and healthy organic foods, and you have a bona fide long-term societal trend.
For business, going green primarily saves money and helps promote a company’s image as a good corporate citizen. But in the public view, large retailers have the potential to meet their emotional need for a better tomorrow and have a real impact.
The Home Depot is using its stores to tell customers that changing their buying habits can help the environment. Shoppers can see how products are rated according to greenhouse-gas emissions, solvents and organic materials. Marks & Spencer has given itself five years to become fully carbon neutral, limiting environmental impact, enhancing its ethical trading initiatives and educating customers on healthy and green living.
Retailers’ environmental-education initiatives tie into one of the greatest trends of the millennium-consumers’use of the Internet for in form at ion in support of purchasing decisions.
Retail analysts have declared the new measure of success to be the triple bottom line—people, planet and profit. Although strategy consultants may be selling green as a competitive edge, it’s more likely to level out as a table stake. In any case, this could be a moment in history when the interests of business, humanity and the environment actually coincide.
Coca-Cola names chief marketer
ATLANTA The Coca-Cola Company has appointed Joseph Tripodi to the position of chief marketing and commercial officer, reporting to president and coo Muhtar Kent. Most recently, Tripodi was the senior vp and chief marketing officer for Allstate Insurance Co., where he was responsible for the structure, strategy and execution of all of their marketing efforts.
In his role, Tripodi will lead a new function consisting of the combination of the company’s global marketing and commercial organizations. In addition to overseeing all aspects of marketing, he will be responsible for coordinating and leading the company’s strategic direction in commercial leadership.
Prior to joining Allstate in 2003, Tripodi was chief marketing officer for The Bank of New York. He served as chief marketing officer for Seagram Spirits & Wine Group from 1999 to 2002. From 1989 to 1998, he was the evp for global marketing, products and services for MasterCard International, where among other achievements he was a chief architect of the acclaimed “Priceless” campaign. Previously, he spent seven years with the Mobil Oil Corp., where he gained considerable international experience in roles of increasing responsibility in planning, marketing, business development and operations in New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Guam.
Whole Foods takes top spot on EPA list
WASHINGTON Whole Foods Market took the top spot this quarter on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Top 10 Retail Partners in its Green Power Partnership program. Other major retailers on the list include Kohl’s (2), Staples (4), Lowe’s (6) and Office Depot.
According to its profile on the EPA Web site, currently, Whole Foods Market is purchasing or generating 100% of its total national power load from green power sources.
The Top 10 Retail Partners in the Green Power Partnership is released quarterly and represents the largest completed annual green power purchases of all Retail Partners within the Green Power Partnership. According to the EPA, the combined green power purchases of these organizations amounts to an estimated 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, which is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 140,000 average American homes each year.