Southern Co-op, a World Earth Day case study


A targeted approach to reducing food waste 

This year’s World Earth Day looks to leverage the potential that both private and public companies have in making a tangible difference in protecting our planet. With the theme ‘invest in our planet’, the call to action is clear. 

At Retail Insight, a core tenet of our business is to help retailers reduce food waste. In doing so, yes, they improve profitability, but, more importantly, they can demonstrate tangible ESG benefits. At the end of the day, we all want less food going to landfill.  

This is why we are thrilled to be working with Southern Co-op in supporting their goal of creating a sustainable business, that prides itself in a fair, fresh approach, for all. 

Our partnership with Southern Co-op is focussed around our WasteInsight solution and leverages dynamic markdowns and store compliance to ensure that less food is thrown away, and more makes it into the hands of shoppers. 

But what are the key areas that we look to address with Southern Co-op?

  • Improving sell-through and reducing ‘in the bin’ volumes 
    We do this through the implementation of dynamic markdowns. Our research shows that 9 out of 10 retailers leverage static markdowns, a practice of setting binary discount parameters e.g. 25% or 50%, a process that dramatically impacts margins and increases waste. Contrary to this, our dynamic markdown solution leverages Southern Co-op's sales data and uses cognitive technology to deliver markdown percentages that are more likely to get products off the shelves and into the hands of shoppers.  
  • Delivering better compliance 
    We work with Southern Co-op to track store compliance across their estate. In doing so we can provide a real picture of which stores are delivering against their waste processes, enabling them to support store teams more effectively.
  • Product placement 
    We provide them with product placement advice to ensure products are in the best possible position to sell which, in combination with our markdown solution, creates a robust mechanism for supporting their sustainability goals.

 “Retail Insight’s WasteInsight solution coupled with the reporting and insight they provide has helped us work towards our goal of becoming more sustainable by providing significant waste savings.” Says Lee Cook, Availability & Logistics Manager.

You can read our full case study with Southern Co-op here and if you would like to find out more about how WasteInsight can support your business, you can visit our product page here. 

What is World Earth Day?

Earth Day has taken place yearly for the past 52 years. It is an opportunity for people across the globe to come together and celebrate the world while raising awareness of how essential it is to actively protect our planet. This year’s theme is ‘Invest in our Planet,’ which involves businesses, governments, and citizens working together and taking greater responsibility.

Who are Southern Co-op?

Southern Co-op is an independent co-operative that operates more than 300 food stores, funeral, and Starbucks coffee branches across the South of England. They have committed to a sustainable business achieved through investment in their communities, protecting the environment, and supporting local food producers. They are owned by local people and run an ethical and responsible business, believing in a fair, fresh approach, for all. 

Written by Hannah Waters

Hannah is a Graduate Business Intern at Retail Insight. Her studies have afforded her a deep knowledge and appreciation of how the brain works and its relationship to human behavior. Retail Insight provides the opportunity to apply her scientific background and passion for directly supporting sustainability and environmental issues. Hannah is a first class Neuroscience BSc graduate from the University of Nottingham.