Vast majority of shoppers believe retailers don't support charities, says study

Polly Gowers, chief executive and founder of Give as you Live, which conducted the research, says retailers need to show they are doing their bit for charity

Polly Gowers
Polly Gowers

Nearly 90 per cent of shoppers in the UK believe that retailers are failing to support good causes, according to a survey by the fundraising platform Give as you Live.

Give as you Live, which enables online shoppers to donate to charity using money from retailers’ marketing budgets, surveyed 2,050 people in August 2013 about their impression of retailers’ corporate social responsibility activities.

Only 13 per cent of consumers said they noticed retailers supporting charities, leaving 87 per cent who said they believed shops were failing to support good causes, the study shows.

The worst-performing areas of retail were cinemas, electronics and gadgets, books, games and DVDs, DIY, holidays and sport and leisure, according to the research. Ninety per cent of respondents said they could not recall any charitable support from retailers in these areas.

Only 15 per cent of shoppers noticed the charitable activities carried out by fashion stores, compared with 16 per cent by healthcare, beauty and pharmacy suppliers, and 11 per cent by utilities providers.

The best-performing area of retail was food and drink – 41 per cent of respondents could think of retailers supporting good causes.

Polly Gowers, chief executive and founder of Give as you Live, said: "During a difficult economic period, retailers need to pull out all the stops to differentiate themselves and show that they’re doing their bit.

"Our data indicates that consumers would spend more with a retailer that was seen to be giving back to society. But we’ve seen that some retailers just aren’t communicating this to their customers, despite the fact that it could help them reap tangible rewards. Retailers that engage in corporate social responsibility and communicate this to their customers not only do good, but can also increase sales."

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