Groundbreaking Sephora Study Shows Racial Bias is Entrenched in the US Retail Experience

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For many moms, browsing a boutique or visiting the mall is a source of deep joy and pleasure. But for moms of color, shopping can be alienating and downright discriminatory. A new study commissioned by Sephora, a Diversity Best Practices partner, shows how pervasive racially driven bias and unfair treatment are in the US retail industry. It is the first-ever national research study focused on racial bias in US retail settings.

The beauty retailer conducted a host of customer and employee surveys, interviews and academic research from 2019 to 2020. One of the biggest findings? That racially biased and exclusionary treatment (RBET) is more prominent for BIPOC shoppers who have disproportionately either personally experienced and/or have witnessed or heard about unfair treatment based on their ethnicity/skin color in stores, according to researchers Dr. Cassi Pittman Claytor and Dr….

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