South Africa’s largest ethical and natural retailer has opened its first flagship store in a commercial space at an iconic mixed-use destination located in the oldest working harbour in the Southern Hemisphere, the V&A Waterfront. At a time when ecommerce is gaining momentum, this shows how a physical footprint still has undeniable advantages.
Faithful to Nature, a business at the forefront of environmental solutions, has chosen to extend its online offerings with a brick-and-mortar store, making ethical shopping decisions far easier for the consumer.
With about 2% of retail currently online, the retailer aims to reach more customers offline and also deliver on convenience to online customers through an omnichannel approach.
“We have witnessed this global shift with Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods Market as well as the recent success of Yuppiechef in the local space so there’s literally no time like the present,” says Faithful to Nature Chief Marketing Officer Simon Bowes. “We are in a privileged position, at the intersection of natural health, sustainability and ecommerce, which has seen us achieve record growth in 2020.”
It is committed to its mission – to realise a world where the products we consume don’t hurt us, our communities and our planet – and to achieve this we need to tackle accessibility.
Established back in 2006 to promote healthy living and give consumers a transparent ingredient list for all their products, a big step for the growing local sustainability sector.
The retailer is already implementing various ways to tackle the green economy – vetting each ingredient in every product offered, advocating for plastic-free products, having a 100% biodegradable label and a 99% waste-free warehouse. It is also planning to roll out carbon neutral deliveries for all customer orders.
The store is an extension of sustainability thinking – reflected in the materials chosen for the shopfitting where recycled, upcycled and sustainable materials were used as much as possible.
“We have gone with a clean, natural and relaxed feel for our stores that embodies our products and thinking about sustainability in everything we do,” shares Bowes. “We have also worked hard on our system architecture to deliver similar experiences online and offline.
Leading up to Earth Day on 22 April this is a bold step to boost support for environmental protection – showcasing growth in the fight for the green economy by increasing accessibility without compromising the sustainable products.
“Since we opened our doors on 1 April we have observed a solid amount of traffic and have been impressed with both the excitement and the feedback the store has generated,” says Bowes.
“This milestone will allow us to grow, deliver on our mission and most importantly help scale the SMEs with whom we partner through increased distribution. We are focused on increasing our brand’s ability to create memorable experiences and a physical presence allows us to connect with our customers like never before,” Bowes concludes.