Marks and Spencer

How can M&S recover?

Sir, M&S dropping out of the FTSE 100 is proof the retailer has not adapted quickly enough to the cultural changes going on elsewhere in the consumer space.

It might have started as a market stall, but through its commitment to its physical stores, M&S has kept its customers captive to shopping at a specific time and place, when what they want is digital flexibility.

Because of online shopping, people today also expect an element of delight and discovery from shopping experiences that M&S just doesn’t offer.

For M&S to recover, it needs to engage with these cultural shifts and bring back the market-stall inspiration to its tired emporia.

Alex Gordon, CEO, Sign Salad

The future of retail

Sir, The hunt to figure out the future of retail continues.

There is an urgent need for brands and retailers to learn the complex new language today’s consumers are talking. After all, consumers are no longer passive observers - they’re activists, decoders and digital orators. Disruptive approaches are allowing brands to capitalise on this, such as turning retail environments into cultural hubs and social playgrounds where transacting takes a backseat, or allowing customers to hack retail environments to better serve their social storytelling.

Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to use retail to provoke, connect, share and converse with consumers.

George Gottl, chief creative officer and co-founder of FutureBrand UXUS

Turn to baling waste

Sir, Predictions have highlighted that there will be 12 billion tonnes of global plastic waste by 2050, whilst road freight transport is also projected to increase by 56% between 2010 and 2050, according to an EU report.

Little has been done on how waste is transported - this is where baling comes in. Balers are used to compress waste into compact blocks. By doing this, businesses can decrease the volume of their waste by up to 95%, which cuts the number of journeys to and from landfill sites.

To make the world cleaner and greener, decision makers need to start with denser bales.

Andrea Falco, head of sales, environmental technology at HSM