Racial Bias Is a Reality for Black American Shoppers
Professor Cassi Pittman Claytor’s ongoing study hopes to ensure shoppers can have a less biased experience
This year’s holiday shopping season will surely be different due to Covid-19 and the impact it’s had on a slew of people, both financially — many Americans are still struggling and out of work — and for others in their willingness (or unwillingness) to head out to stores when we’re all supposed to be avoiding crowds. For some, this new normal will potentially ease the stress and anxiety of shopping while Black. Professors Cassi Pittman Claytor and David Crockett, in collaboration with popular beauty retailer Sephora, are working on a study around racial bias and the role racism plays in each phase of the consumer experience.
“For example, the market might privilege white male consumers, and their experience is more pleasant or more favorable, more satisfactory, if they are perceived as the ideal or most favored,” Pittman Claytor said in a recent interview with Business Insider. “Race can positively impact consumers, and it may negatively impact others.”
Pittman Claytor acknowledges that the goal of the study is not to end racial bias but to ensure retailers are armed with strategies to make sure they can provide a better shopping experience for all — specifically Black shoppers who report receiving inferior service, not being greeted when entering a store and being followed and presumed a thief.