Diversity in the Retail Setting

These days, almost all retailers implement a diversity & inclusion statement, but academic research investigating their effectiveness on attracting minority consumer groups is scarce. As today’s marketplaces are becoming more and more multicultural, it is however relevant for retailers to understand how to create a more inclusive retail setting that attracts previously undervalued customers while retaining the traditional customer base.

Lina F. Jacobsen, Anne O. Peschel and Sascha Steinmann (all Aarhus University) investigate the effect of different diversity initiatives, such as communication, changes in assortment or floor staff on consumers’ perception of the retailer as well as their shopping behaviour. In addition to traditional data collection tools, such as surveys, they plan to conduct studies in an immersive virtual reality supermarket setting.

This way, consumers can experience the diversity initiatives in a closer to real-life setting using VR-technology and 3D animations. This procedure will allow for results on shopping behaviour, which are close to consumers’ in-store purchase behaviour, without testing potentially risky initiatives in an actual retail store.   


Professor Sascha Steinmann

Senior Researcher Anne O. Peschel

Assistant Professor Lina F. Jacobsen.