Top 10 Retail Innovators

Wawa and Amazon.com were the two U.S. retailers that made...
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The sky is the limit for retailers that respond to sustainability issues and those bold enough to experiment and strike into emerging markets, according to the latest research by international food and grocery expert IGD. In its latest report, “Global Retail Innovation: Ten to Watch 2007,” IGD lists 10 retailers around the world that it feels demonstrate strong growth prospects, sound business practices and innovation.

Two U.S. companies made the list: online powerhouse Amazon.com and convenience store operator Wawa. Amazon.com was recognized for its strong launch into online grocery retail, while Wawa was noted for its “food first, fuel second” approach to quality foodservice. Also making the list were Australia’s Macro Wholefoods Market, which specializes in green, organic and fair-trade products; the United Kingdom’s Cook, a retailer of premium frozen meals that look and taste homemade and are sourced locally; and Switzerland’s Migros, whose strong ethical focus connects with shoppers.

The report found a company’s stance on sustainability is fast becoming a key factor in consumer buying decisions.

“Sustainability has to be backed up by substance and robust measures,” said Jonathan Gunz, senior business analyst, IGD, and report author. “Consumers are increasingly savvy. They will see through sustainability half-measures that aren’t backed up by genuine action.”