How can Retail & Hospitality businesses leverage diversity?

The modern High Street is extremely diverse with shoppers and when you look inside, we are also seeing a more diverse workforce as well.

Diversity in recruitment is a great way to make your business more welcoming to a diverse customer base, they can offer cultural insights, help overcome language barriers and of course, be prepared to work on Christmas Eve, something that is often overlooked. The converse is also true where staff need to take leave on Chinese New Year, Vaisakhi or Eid (which often is decided late!). There are a lot of businesses out there who see new opportunities to extend their target market into new areas and for this, having insights into the minds of these new customer bases is essential.

In a society where Christmas is a holiday event more than a religious event, it is not surprising when other cultural events like Valentines day, Mothers Day, Black Friday are also great opportunities for money to be spent not only on the high street but across the economy. You have to believe that some of that spend is for the sake of it pleasure and not the necessity, I often see people out Christmas shopping, when they are not even celebrating Christmas, instead they are taking the opportunity to shop.

You need to see each occasion as an opportunity to run a new campaign, or get the attention of shoppers who my be out there, getting ready for Diwali and be easily enticed by some Diwali offers. Just like retailers focus on Valentines Day, or Mothers Day, the same should happen for religous & cultural events.

Dr Amna Khan, a senior lecturer in consumer behaviour and retailing at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Retailers need to understand cultural needs and preferences. This can be applied to food consumption such as halal versus non-halal foods, but can be applied more wider to dress codes, which consider religious sensitivities such as the desire to dress modestly by Muslims.”

At a time when you know that certain groups maybe looking for a place to come out and celebrate their day, why not offer variety of food that will appeal to a wider audience?

So what are the quick wins here?

  1. Retailers employ a diverse workforce to help overcome language and cultural barriers
  2. Restaurant owners run specials that coincide with religious and cultural events
  3. Both look to solve a problem for their customers, for example the Bull Ring shopping center in Birmingham now opens late at night during Ramadan when shoppers maybe looking for last minute deals before Eid celebrations, having been at work  at day.


Read the full article HERE – as published by Retail Gazette