Is Shopping While Latino as Bad as Shopping While Black?
Compiled by the DiversityInc staff
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Date Posted: December 06, 2007 Email a Friend Digg
'Tis the season to be shopping, but that's where Latinos, blacks and whites are all most likely to report experiencing discrimination, a new Manhattanville College poll finds.
Most Latinos who say they've experienced discrimination say it happens while shopping (53 percent). Sixty percent of blacks say the same thing, compared with 44 percent of whites. Discrimination--real or perceived--in stores is likely to be even more pronounced during the busy holiday season, but stores would be wise to be aware of consumer perceptions because bad shopping experiences translate into lost customers.
"We've heard a lot about police," Manhattanville College President Richard Berman said, referring to media coverage and public dialogue often dominated by racial-profiling and police-brutality claims. "But have we heard anything about shopping?"
For DiversityInc readers, this is a major issue. Read Part I: Shopping While Black: One Serious Buyer's Customer-Service Nightmare and Your Worst Customer-Service Experiences Ever to learn more about their frustrations and what they want.
Poor customer service can cost a company big bucks, especially when it comes to multicultural dollars. Black and Latino customers are incredibly loyal to the stores and salespeople that treat them with respect. They may warn friends and family members about patronizing places where they don't feel they've been treated well, but they'll encourage everyone they know to shop at places that understand their needs and treat them with respect, not stereotypes.
Just how much does customer service matter to Latino and black consumers? Here are a few examples highlighted in the October 2007 issue of DiversityInc magazine:
· 75 percent of Latinos say they've stopped shopping at a store because of rude salespeople, and 35 percent tell their friends to do the same. Rudeness is less likely to turn off white shoppers (51 percent), who are less likely than Latinos to relay their experiences to a friend (25 percent), an Ipsos poll found
· 69 percent of blacks consider customer service in deciding where to shop, compared with 46 percent of whites, reports Target Market News
· 65 percent of Spanish-speaking customers who have had a product/service problem in the last year want a refund, and 38 percent threatened to go to a lawyer or the news media. Only 43 percent and 12 percent, respectively, of English-speaking customers frustrated with a product/service say the same, according to Customer Care Measurement & Consulting
5 Other Racial Perception Differences: Do You Agree With These Statements?
See how your views compare with the survey findings. Poll results are derived from a Nov. 6--14 telephone survey of more than 600 black, Latino and white residents in three suburban New York counties--Westchester, Rockland and Putnam--and follows up on a 1999 survey. Click here for the full results.
1. Which group is most optimistic about race relations?
Latinos and whites tie, with 37 percent of each group saying race relations are excellent/good. Only a quarter of blacks say they same--up a mere 3 percentage points from 1999. Nearly a third of blacks say race relations are poor
Both whites and blacks are also less likely to say race relations have improved in the last five years; only 23 percent and 20 percent of these respondents, respectively, say they've gotten better, compared with 30 percent of Latinos
2. Who values education most?
Latinos. Education is the most important community issue to 14 percent of these respondents, compared with blacks (9 percent) and whites (6 percent)
White poll respondents said that overdevelopment (9 percent) is the biggest issue facing their communities, followed by affordable housing and immigration issues (7 percent each)
3. Where have reported incidences of discrimination declined the most?
The workplace. Forty-four percent of blacks report discrimination at work, down 17 percentage points from 1999; this compares with a 9-point reduction in the number of whites who now experience discrimination at work (35 percent)
Latinos are slightly more likely to experience discrimination on the job (38 percent), but there is no 1999 comparative data for this group
Latinos reported the highest incidence of discrimination at school of any group (41 percent); overall, blacks are still more likely to report experiencing discrimination on a daily basis (See also: Beating Education Barriers From the Caribbean to the U.S.)
Why have perceptions of workplace discrimination declined over the last few years? Check out what The 2007 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity® are doing to engage their entire work force.
4. Which group does everyone agree is most likely to be discriminated against?
Blacks. Latinos, whites and blacks all agree that blacks are more likely than Latinos to experience discrimination when applying for jobs, in the housing market, by police and when it comes to getting a fair trial
Most Latinos (54 percent) believe blacks have as good a chance as whites to buy a house in a neighborhood they can afford, which is the same they say about their racial/ethnic group, but 32 percent say blacks experience more discrimination than Latinos in this situation (22 percent).
Latinos' faith in the justice system transcends other groups. They're more likely to believe all racial/ethnic groups have an equal chance at a fair trial; blacks rate Latinos' experience in the courts worse than Latinos themselves--57 percent say Latinos are less likely than whites to get a fair trial; 42 percent of Latinos agree
The survey only includes respondents in suburbia, which tends to have less crime than big cities. A poll that includes city residents or compares city- and suburban-resident responses may have different results.
5. Who's most optimistic about our country's direction?
One counterintuitive finding: Latinos are most optimistic about the nation's direction despite being more concerned about how things are going in their individual counties than whites (44 percent versus 51 percent think their counties are on the "right track") and the financial condition of their families and communities