Metro promises a better future, one bag at a time

The department store was recognised at Retail Asia Awards 2022.

Adjusting to the pandemic and the hurdles it brought along the way seemed like a monumental task for companies, especially those in the retail sector as government lockdowns kept many customers in their homes and accelerated a shift into e-commerce. Through their efforts to survive the pandemic and the new normal, along with paving the way to a better future, Metro (Private) Limited won the Department Store of the Year - Singapore Award at the Retail Asia Awards 2022. 

The awards programme recognises major breakthroughs, innovations, and key players in the retail industry of Asia, and Metro’s initiatives to establish a successful e-commerce arm whilst incorporating sustainability into their practices distinguished them from their competitors. 

As e-commerce’s rapid growth in adoption and usage by customers increased at the height of the pandemic and lockdowns, Metro established an online store in Lazada, a massive online marketplace. By implementing automated sales entry and stock transfers for their online store, Metro improved their productivity and efficiency, garnering them 30,000 followers on the platform within 2021. 

Aided by bundles, multiplying deals, and pushing brand days, Metro was able to boost their business, along with their initiatives by enlisting the help of local media and radio personalities on live streams to support local talents and communication methods. 

With sustainability becoming a key factor in customer preference in terms of brands, Metro capitalised on the opportunity by signing the retail bag charge in May 2021, encouraging shoppers to bring their own carriers through press ads, social media, and in-store reminders. Proceeds of the bag charge go fully to the WWF-Singapore's Plastic Action (PACT) initiative and WWF-Singapore's conservation efforts.

Aside from the Retail Bag Charge initiative, Metro also promotes responsible consumption by listing brands in their store which promote using sustainable sources, such as sustainable materials made out of 100% organic cotton or bamboo or sourced from responsibly managed forests, energy savings with products that help reduce water and air pollution whilst conserving natural resources, and waste reduction through products made from recycled materials or offering refillable products. 

Metro also joined almost 3,000 premises as a partner in the Say YES to Waste Less (SYTWL) campaign from 21 September 2021, switching predominantly to paper bags as a bagging option to reduce plastic consumption and encourage zero waste habits in customers. 

Internally, Metro practices the 3Rs: Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle. Cartons are reused for customer deliveries and eCommerce fulfilment parcels as much as possible, as well as upcycling in-door displays to minimise waste. Waste reduction is also encouraged through briefings and visual reminders within the company whilst product recommendations and visuals on their ads are used for raising awareness amongst the customer base. 

Recycling is encouraged by Metro through activities and incentives such as issuing $10 vouchers for participating beauty brands for every 3 empty bottles brought to the store for recycling and enjoying 5% off with Melissa shoes when customers bring their pre-loved shoes for recycling. Recycling bins are available for each floor of the store at Paragon, at 14 beauty counters at MPN and 9 Beauty Counters at MW to encourage empty bottle recycling, and at fashion cashier counters to collect one-time use poly garment bags to reuse as reservation bags, bin liners, or to sort for the recycling bin.

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