• Newsletter What is retail's approach to Diversity and Inclusion?


Monthly Tonic - Issue 01

Driven by a shift in consumers’ expectations, Diversity and Inclusion are becoming increasingly more important for businesses globally. There are opportunities for physical retail to bring awareness, educate and inspire customers to take action.


This month we have been diving deep into Diversity and Inclusion within the retail experience. As a past Research Associate at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, ‘Inclusive Design’ has been at the core of my approach for nearly 20 years. Although there are some amazing projects that effectively translate extremely complex social expectations into the built world around us, there is still plenty more that can be done. Below you will find the links to the most provocative articles being debated with the team.

Make sure you consider the diversity of disability! There are huge diversities of disabilities and challenges we need to consider, access is a tiny part of what we should be empathetic too. In this article, I really like that the staff from the MoMA had an internal discussion about confronting their own misconceptions of disability. Having honest conversations is so important!

Supermarket chain Morrisons has a nation-wide ‘quieter hour’ for autistic shoppers. This is an excellent example of inclusive retail. The sensory sensitivities of autistic shoppers might be an important consideration for any brands and retailers prioritising inclusive retail design.

What does retail for an ageing population look like? As many brands and retailers will have to start thinking about shifting towards designing for older customers, this is an interesting case study which shows how Japanese retail giant Aeon is making some changes to engage the ageing population.

In a similar vein, this excellent research project from the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre is aimed at helping older consumers transition to modern banking methods. Technology is moving so fast and becomes the norm, which often leads to older people being left behind.

Diverse store staff play a vital role in any retail strategy! Diversity of store staff can be a critical part of providing an inclusive retail store for your customers. This article touches on some of the benefits that your retail business can enjoy from diverse and inclusive hiring.

A further article talks about the value of diversity at all levels of retail business. Of particular interest is the importance of racial diversity to reflect a store’s customer base and the positive impact a diverse workforce can have on the bottom line.

An Inclusive approach makes good commercial sense (whether you’re a brand or a country) Many businesses are falling way short in their inclusion of customers with disabilities, and this may be losing them millions. This article discusses how designing an authentic, inclusive service will benefit your customers and your business in many ways.

This article shares an important idea; when we accommodate the most vulnerable people, everyone benefits. Inclusive design includes everyone! It also shows us how a single piece of design can spread ideas which can go on to affect national government policy.

We have also written our own short opinion piece that outlines several insights that can help you make your own retail environments and experiences more diverse and inclusive. You can read it here!

I hope you find these helpful. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like to discuss further.

Kind regards

In Quinine's ‘Monthly Tonic' newsletter, we share the key articles, reports and research studies that are driving the conversations we are having here in the studio. Each newsletter is based around a single theme that extends beyond retail to explore broader social and cultural influences shaping the changing world around us. We share a range of insights, perspectives and points of view that are positively impacting the direction we are heading and the discussions we are having with our clients. The following newsletter was shared with all our friends, clients and Quinine community members. If you would like to receive our next issue, please sign up here!

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