Sustainability: UK retailers and social media

Jones, Peter and Clarke-Hill, Colin M and Comfort, Daphne and Hillier, David (2013) Sustainability: UK retailers and social media. World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 9 (4). pp. 460-474. ISSN 1746-0573

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Abstract

This paper provides an exploratory review of the extent to which the UK's retail industry is employing social media, specifically Facebook, to communicate their sustainability aspirations, commitments and achievements. The paper begins with an outline of the development and characteristics of social media and this is followed by a short discussion of the concept and contested meanings of sustainability. The paper draws its empirical material from the Facebook pages of the UK's top ten retail companies. The findings reveal that the individual retail businesses operated by the top ten retail companies all have Facebook pages but that these pages are dominated by marketing and sales promotion material with commentary on sustainability or attempts to develop engagement with members on sustainability being very limited. More critically the authors argue that if the wider concerns of climate change, the availability and security of resources and waste disposal become increasingly perceived to be pressing issues then the UK's leading retailers may need to look to harness the powerful potential of social media in an attempt to encourage more sustainable shopping behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social media, sustainability, retailers, UK, United Kingdom, retail industry, Facebook, sustainable development, climate change, resource availability, resource security, waste disposal, shopping behaviour, communication
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Computing and Applied Sciences > Business School > Business and Human Resource Management
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business Research
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 22 May 2014 14:38
Last Modified: 17 May 2016 09:35
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/691

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