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EMAC 2022 Annual

What’s in it for me? Consumer perception of diversity communication in retailing.

Published: May 24, 2022


Anne Peschel, Aarhus University; Lina Jacobsen, MAPP-Centre, Aarhus University; Sascha Steinmann, Aarhus University, Department of Management


Corporate Diversity and Inclusion statements are ubiquitous in today’s retail landscape. It is uncertain though how these can create value for consumers. Social identity theory predicts that consumers value shopping with in-group consumers, similar to the self, while including out-group consumers in the shopping sphere might create tension. Following construal level theory, we assume that consumers’ evaluation of diversity and inclusion communication depends on their psychological distance. Through two online experiments with a representative sample of Danish consumers and a representative sample of UK consumers with a non-British ethnic background as well as those who identify as LGBTQ+, we find that consumers value abstract diversity statements or concrete statements that create value for both minority as well as majority consumers.