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Melrose International

Going Green: Save Money and Engage Shoppers

Going green isn’t just for big businesses; there are plenty of green changes YOU can make, right in your shop!

By now you’ve probably heard of big businesses making big changes to be more green—like Apple’s plans to become carbon neutral. While this is a bit ambitious for a gift shop, there are plenty of everyday actions you can take that will have a great impact on the environment. From fixtures to wall space to bags and receipts, going green can be simpler than you ever knew!

Buy used fixtures.
A great way to both recycle AND save money, is to scavenge for salvaged fixtures—ideally ones made of natural materials—rather than pay big for new ones. Consider a wooden farmhouse table as a main display piece. Check your basement (or your grandma’s!) for old furniture, frames, shelves etc., that can be used in your store. We heard of one retailer who even found great items in the free section on Craigs List! For some inspiration check out the found items used to display men’s clothes at 16Tons, in Baltimore, MD.

Create a living wall.
Something you may not think about when it comes to going green is the air quality INSIDE your shop. But a simple change can improve air quality—and give your shop a little flair. Create a wall full of indoor plants, placed under air-conditioning vents, to help freshen and clean your air. This is an especially good move at indoor malls, where air can be recirculated and stale.

Make bags and receipts optional
When you ring a customer up, do you automatically bag their item and hand them a receipt? Consider making these items optional. Most customers don’t want the receipt and many don’t need a bag. By asking first, you’re not only saving paper but you could also save time and money (think less bags, bows and paper to buy!). Everyone wins.

One last reason to go green—your customers! Out of a survey of 166 small business owners conducted by Small Business Magazine, more than half said their customer expect them to go green. So consider some of the tips above, or do your own research and greenify your own way. No matter how you are going green, we want to hear about it in the comments section below!


Melrose International is an industry leader in wholesale home décor, giftware, and seasonal items. Providing outstanding products, service, design, and value since 1985!

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