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Dr. Chien talks about the future development of the department store retail industry.

At the invitation of the Far Eastern Department Store, Chairman of Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy, Mr. Eugene, gave a speech on the theme of "Renewable Challenges and Opportunities in the Retail Industry" on April 16 (Tuesday). Ambassador Eugene stressed that the issue of sustainable development is affecting the development of the department store retail industry. As operational risks increase, it has become more difficult for companies to operate in a long-term. Under the trend of sustainable development, most consumers pay attention to the influence of brands on society and environmental protection and are willing to purchase goods and services that are beneficial to the environment. Sustainable development can connect with consumers and is an important element in the promotion of competitive advantage in the department store retail industry.

Figure 1. Mr. Eugene puts forward the future development of the department store retail industry.

Mr. Eugene first stated that indicating enterprises’ success has become difficult. External risk factors such as natural disasters, man-made disasters, policy changes, technological innovations, market changes, investment trends, and internal corporate governance issues such as product fraud, greed (stain), and sweatshops make the current business operations (full of challenges). In the consumer awareness, the pursuit of zero plastics and the return to the natural trend, the department store retail industry is facing a cold winter, many well-known department stores are reducing the scale of business or (on the verge of) filing for bankruptcy. Sustainable development is gradually becoming a trend, or it can provide a long-term development path for the department store retail industry.

Robust enterprise sustainable development is based on the balance of good corporate governance, environmental sustainability and social welfare. The core competence of the enterprise needs to be combined with social responsibility, and based on this, we will develop a sustainable strategy to create product value and build a competitive enterprise. The 17 goals, 169 targets, and 232 indicators in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda are providing a clear direction for business sustainability and changing the company's sustainable vision.

Figure 2. General Manager Xu Xuefang of Far Eastern Department Store presents the ambassador a souvenir

Mr. Eugene believes that enterprises are the key to sustainable development. The practice of sustainable development requires enterprises, governments and society to jointly fulfill their responsibilities. Enterprises have funds and cover most stakeholders in society, and their role is even more important. For enterprises, achieving sustainable development is beneficial. In addition to reducing business risks, seizing market opportunities, and increasing transparency in corporate governance, it can also unite more cooperative relationships. With the increase of global climate change related legislation, technological innovation, the elimination of coal-fired, fuel-fired power generation market trends and the continuous improvement of investment, enterprises must face the crisis and risks.

Finally, Mr. Eugene emphasized that sustainable development can bring many opportunities for the future of the department store retail industry. Sustainable development can increase the revenue of the department store retail industry and reduce the cost of expenditure. It is also a source of innovation, enhancing brand value and opening new markets. According to the statistics of American consumers' wishes, 93% of consumers are happy to see social security and environmental protection, and 68 million American consumers will consider environmental protection and social orientation when shopping. They are more willing to pay 20% more to purchase environmentally friendly products. Services are clearly and steadily integrated into consumer values. Mr. Eugene suggested that the department store in the retail industries could move towards sustainability by for example become paper lessness, regulate waste in the supply chain process, use of renewable energy, energy conservation and carbon reduction, recycling and reuse of old products, to win consumer support and achieve sustainable development of the enterprise itself.