Business development · 20 October 2017

Why branded litter on the high street is leaving a bad taste for consumers

Research has found that seeing an item as litter can reduce a consumers willingness to buy that brand
Research has found that seeing an item as litter can reduce a consumer’s willingness to buy that brand
The vast majority of UK consumers look upon a business negatively if they have witnessed its products discarded onto public streets, according to new findings uncovering the worrying reputational impact of branded litter.

E-cigarette retailer polled over 1, 200british shoppers to find out what kind of effect seeing branded products littered had on a brand’s reputation, and to what extent brands and retailers could be suffering from negative connotations of littering.

After seeing a product littered, some 76 per cent of respondents admitted a negative perception was passed down directly onto the brand, regardless of where it was seen.

Meanwhile, over a third claimed they would be deterred from buying a brand altogether if they had seen it littered on the street.

After calculating the overall sales hit, the study claimed branded litter could even represent a two per cent drop in a company’s turnover.

The findings also uncovered the subconscious effect of litter visible outside high street businesses, putting retailers at risk. Over half of respondents believed that items sold from a shop with litter outside would be of a poorer quality? than a litter-free equivalent.

Michelle Gardener, founder of Faraway Furniture, articulated the impact of litter on her high street business.

littering was a big problem when we were selling furniture on a high street, ” she said. “Our goods often carry a high price tag, but when the pavement outside is littered with cigarette butts and discarded rubbish, consumers will have a bad impression of your brand and assume it is of low quality.

Convenience’store owner Kamal Shah also experienced a negative response from high street littering.



Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

Business Advice