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How retailers can welcome the “inclusive consumer” at every step

For starters, companies should “reshape” their shelves, according to McKinsey & Company.
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Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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For the consumers of today, value shopping doesn’t mean discounts. About two-thirds of Americans (66%) say their spending is shaped by their social values, according to a McKinsey & Company survey in October.

  • And 45% believe retailers should support Black-owned businesses.

McKinsey calls these shoppers the “inclusive consumer.” And as they continue to redefine the retail landscape, the consulting firm recently laid out five steps businesses can take to welcome them.

Change it up: For starters, retailers should “reshape” their shelves to diversify their product mix and elevate new brands. A prime example that pushes progress: The Fifteen Percent Pledge, which already counts commitments from more than 25 companies, including Gap and Sephora.

  • Already, some retailers have doubled the number of Black-owned brands they now offer—giving opportunities to nearly 400 companies.
  • Target, which isn’t part of The Pledge, meanwhile recently said 70+ of its beauty brands are now Black-owned or -founded, a 65% bump since 2020.

But getting new brands in the door isn’t enough, McKinsey notes; placement and visibility are key as well. Consider that nearly half (45%) of the inclusive consumers surveyed by the consulting firm wanted stores to make it clear which brands are Black-owned in stores and online.

Source code: Another important step to take, according to McKinsey, is to diversify supply chains. Vertically integrated retailers especially should take note to show their efforts go beyond the store.

For example, last June, Best Buy committed $1.2 billion through 2025 to expand its business operations and offer more resources to BIPOC suppliers.

  • Nearly 10% of Best Buy’s annual media spend will also go to BIPOC companies by the same year, and the company plans to feature diverse actors in 30% of its paid ads.

“These actions show an increasing commitment to diversity across the supply chain, and these types of commitments will likely grow in future years as consumers begin calling for similar levels of diversity in the supply chain as they are calling for on shelves,” the McKinsey report reads.

What else? Also key is creating opportunities for inclusive brands and amplifying their voices, McKinsey notes.—KM

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