The State of Consumer Spending: Gender Disconnects on Diversity and Inclusivity in the U.S. and U.K.

Featured Image

New First Insight Study Finds Men and Women are Aligned on Inclusivity and Diversity Factors in the U.S., while U.K. Men and Women are Divided

More Women than Men in Both Regions Expect Immediate Accountability and Action Following Offensive Launch

PITTSBURGH, October 8, 2019 — As diversity and inclusion issues gain greater attention in retail worldwide, a new study by First Insight, Inc., the world’s leading technology company transforming how retailers and brands make product investment, pricing and marketing decisions, found that while men and women are largely aligned in the U.S., women in the U.K. rank these factors as less important than U.S. shoppers and even their U.K. male counterparts.

In the U.S., about half of both men and women surveyed consider having women and minority in leadership positions as important and feel it would benefit retailers and brands to hire Chief Diversity Officers. Just under half of U.S. men and women (48 percent versus 45 percent) ranked cultural inclusivity important, and 44 percent of both genders responded that influencers that represent diverse points of view are important.

Conversely, First Insight results show that only 39 percent of women in the U.K. stated that having women and minorities in leadership positions was important compared to 43 percent of men, and only 36 percent of women feel that cultural inclusivity is important compared to 44 percent of men. Having influencers with a diverse point of view was even less important to U.K. women (35 percent) compared to 44 percent of men, and while more than half of male respondents (55 percent) felt that retailers would benefit from hiring a Chief Diversity Officer, only 48 percent of women in the U.K felt the same way.

“Diversity and inclusivity are growing in importance in retail across the world, and broadening beyond simply offering extended sizes, to evolve with the cultures they serve, the decision makers they hire and the processes in place for taking their products to market,” said Greg Petro, CEO of First Insight.  “With countless retailers and brands continuing to make significant missteps by selling offensive designs, it will be incredibly important that brands listen to their customers, test products at the early stages of the development process, and bring in a more diverse base of talent at every level of the organization to ensure products will resonate with their customers.”

The results were announced today during PI Apparel in Lake Maggiore, Italy.  Download the report and accompanying infographic to see all the key findings from the study here.

Additional significant findings of the study include:

Inclusivity Through Extended Sizing Most Important Diversity and Inclusivity Factor for Women in Both Regions

Of note, women in both U.S. and U.K. regions considered inclusivity through extended sizing the most important diversity factor, with 67 percent of women in the U.S. and 63 percent of women in the U.K. ranking it as important.  Fifty-four percent of U.S. men and 56 percent of U.K. men felt the same.

Women in Both the U.S. and U.K. Expect Greater Accountability than Men After Offensive Product is Presented

With several high-profile missteps by brands gaining significant attention over the past months, the survey also explored the impact of presenting offensive products on shoppers in both regions, and found more women expect accountability and action in how these companies respond.

  • Women in both the U.S. (55 percent) and the U.K. (58 percent) noted that following the release of an offensive product, they would stop shopping at that retailer or brand temporarily, compared to men in the U.S. (42 percent) and the U.K. (47 percent).
  • Eighty-three percent of women and 77 percent of men in the U.S. felt that an immediate apology was important. In the U.K. 86 percent of women and 74 percent of men felt it was important.
  • The majority of respondents in the U.S. (71 percent of women and 64 percent of men) and U.K. (76 percent or women and 63 percent of men) also felt that retailers and brands needed to establish a track record with no offensive items for six or more months before they would purchase from them again.

The survey also compared other in-store and online consumer shopping behavior trends between the U.S. and U.K.

Both U.K. and U.S. Shoppers Are Mobile Shopping and Checking Amazon Before Making a Purchase Elsewhere

Forty-two percent of U.S. respondents are shopping on mobile devices more than six times a month, versus 48 percent of those in the U.K.  Both U.S. (61 percent) and U.K. (58 percent) of shoppers check products and prices at Amazon before looking or buying elsewhere else.

In Physical Retail, U.S. Shopping is Taking Place Most Frequently at Mass Dept Stores, UK Shopping Most Frequently at Discount Retailers

Thirty-nine percent of U.S. respondents are shopping at mass department stores four times a month or more, compared to 41 percent of respondents in the U.K.  However,Fifty-six percent of U.K. respondents are visiting discount retailers four or more times a month, compared to only 34 percent of U.S. respondents. 


First Insight’s findings are based on the results of a U.S. consumer study of a targeted sample of more than 1,000 respondents fielded in September 2019, and a similar study of more than 500 respondents in the U.K. fielded simultaneously in September 2019. The study was completed through proprietary sample sources among panels who participate in online surveys.

About First Insight, Inc.

First Insight is the world’s leading customer-centric merchandising platform that empowers retailers and brands to incorporate the Voice of the Customer into the design, pricing, planning and marketing of new products. Through the use of online consumer engagement, the First Insight solution gathers real-time consumer data and applies predictive analytic models to create actionable insights, which drive measurable value. Retailers, manufacturers and brands use the First Insight solution to design, select, price, plan and market the most profitable new products for reduced markdown rates and improved sales, margins and inventory turnover. Customers include some of world’s leading vertically integrated brands, sporting goods companies, department stores, mass merchant retailers and wholesalers. For further information, please visit

First Insight
Gretchen Jezerc
SVP of Marketing 

Media Contact:
Berns Communications Group, LLC
Stacy Berns/Michael McMullan, 212-994-4660 /

Department Store  retailers  Amazon  Gender Differences in Retail  Mobile Shopping  online shopping  shopping habits  diversity  Chief Diversity Officer  Chief Inclusion Officer  offensive products  U.S.  U.K.  Inclusion

Looking for more info? Complete the form below.

The Supply Chain Disruption
The Wharton Baker Retailing Center

What Retail Executives Say About Supply Chain Disruption: Shortages, Pricing and Delays

We partnered with The Wharton Baker Retailing Center to create a comprehensive infographic exploring our findings.

View the Infographic
The State Of Consumer Spending
The State Of Consumer Spending

The State Of Consumer Spending: Gen Z Influencing All Generations To Make Sustainability-First Purchasing Decisions

We partnered with The Wharton Baker Retailing Center and asked consumers in the U.S. how sustainable practices are impacting shopping habits and purchase decisions.

Read the Report
InsightSuite for Small Business
Featured Product

InsightSuite for Small Business

Specialized Tools for Small & Emerging Businesses

The fastest and most cost effective way to increase sales, profits and sell-in for growing businesses and digitally native brands.

Learn more
Maximize Value, Speed and Profit
Free Ebook

Maximize Value, Speed & Profit

Learn how to leverage Voice of the Customer Analytics and 3D Product Creation to make more profitable products, faster.

Get the Free E-book
Kohl's Creates Value W/Predictive Analytics
Roundtable Video

Kohl's Creates Value W/Predictive Analytics

Learn How First Insight's Predictive Tools Fuel Kohl's Success

As one of the world's leading omnichannel retailers with more than 1,100 stores in 49 states, Kohl's is leveraging First Insight's predictive analytics solution and voice-of-the-customer data to improve their business.

Watch the Webinar
FDRA Consumer Sustainability Survey

Consumer Sustainability Survey 2021

The First Industry-Wide Consumer Study On Shoe Sustainability

This industry-wide survey aims to create a critical baseline that brands and retailers can use to ensure they understand what consumers actually comprehend, what terms and phrases resonate best, and what areas they should prioritize.

Download the Webinar & Findings
Navigating Disruption
Supply Chain & Pricing

Navigating Disruption

How The Rockport Company is Optimizing Assortments and Pricing with Data + Digital Product Testing

Learn how The Rockport Company created a new product playbook powered by the Voice of the Customer and predictive tools.

View the Webinar & Highlights
Case Study


While the Covid-19 pandemic hit most retailers hard, it created uniquely intense challenges for Hotter Shoes. Hotter needed to build up its e-commerce presence and appeal to a new group of shoppers at the same time.

Read the Case Study