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URW survey: Shoppers will pay a premium for sustainability

Al Urbanski
More than 10% of the 6,500 shoppers polled by Westfield said they arrived at the mall in an electric vehicle.

Westfield shoppers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods.

More than half of shoppers at Westfield malls will pay 10% more for products they consider sustainable, and 10% of them will ante up an extra 25% to 40% to battle climate change, according to one of the nation’s top mall owners.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield surveyed more than 6,500 Americans shopping at Westfield malls and found nine out of 10 of them willing to pay a premium for products that meet environmentally sustainable standards. Their highest expectations for eco-conscious products were registered in the food (75%), health and beauty (48%), and fashion segments.

“Conducting surveys to gather insights is one way we are listening to our shoppers; we then use that information to inform how we expand our efforts through strategic partnerships and programs,” said URW’s senior VP of shopping center operations Shelly Schembre, who noted the company’s commitment to focus on solar energy, utility management, and access to electric vehicle charging stations.

Nearly 30% of Westfield shoppers exhibit high adoption tendencies for hybrid and electric vehicle ownership compared to 7% nationally. Twelve percent of those surveyed said they owned an electric vehicle and some 20% have hybrid cars. More than a tenth of those surveyed reported arriving at Westfield centers in electric vehicles and 21% of them said they had charged their vehicles on-site.

Electric vehicle charging still has issues to overcome. Not all vehicles can re-charge on all EV superchargers, and each charging company requires drivers to download its app and set up an account to use its systems. Each Tesla is already tied to a single owner’s account, so Tesla drivers have the best chance of being able to pull up to any supercharger and plugging in.

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