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National Retail Foundation

THROUGH THE RETAIL LENS: SHOPPER RESPONSE TO RETAIL’S RACIAL RECKONING. Todd Szahun, senior vice president of Kantar Retail, recently conducted research into the retail response to the current racial and social justice movement. The report, “Race, Social Justice and Retail: A shopper lens on the retail response,” details shoppers’ attitudes toward retailer reactions, how shoppers themselves have responded to the issue and what retail strategies will drive shoppers to spend more. … He spoke with NRF to provide further insight on the findings.

What are the biggest takeaways from your recent research into the role retail plays in social justice and race issues?

The first big takeaway from our research is that shoppers care about social injustice, and they expect retailers to act: 61 percent of respondents said they think retailers should take a stance on social justice issues, while only 21 percent believed retailers shouldn’t do so. That opinion only got stronger when broken down by generation, race and location with the strongest sentiment from Generation Z (78 percent), Black (83 percent) and urban (70 percent) respondents, all most likely to favor a response.

The other important takeaway is the importance of authenticity in retailer responses. Shoppers are very aware of how retailers have responded and want to see them commit to real and sustained change, not just a social media post, which is often met with high levels of skepticism.

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