Retail Race Discrimination
73 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2022
Date Written: February 14, 2022
This Article investigates everyday race discrimination while shopping in clothing stores of different price ranges. It reports on an original field experiment which examines the combined effects of race and gender on consumers’ shopping experiences and outcomes. Nineteen testers—Black and white females and males, were recruited and trained to return pre-purchased, unworn clothing items (without receipts) to approximately sixty retail stores in Chicago. Overall, more than 200 audits were conducted and analyzed in this study. The findings show that, controlling for all other variables, Black customers receive worse treatment in retail stores than do comparable white customers seeking to return identical goods, and that Black females are particularly vulnerable to discrimination. Implications for law and policy are discussed.
Keywords: discrimination, consumer law, contracts, retail shopping, empirical legal studies
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