It’s that time again. Delivery trucks block traffic on busy streets. Long lines at ATM machines. More Black faces in ads and commercials. Our inboxes overflow with never-ending Black Friday sales. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused retailers to encourage shopping online this holiday season. The National Retail Federation expects 2020 holiday sales to increase between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion. In the past, there was one thing retail stores could count on, Black folks shopping. Black consumers tended to unleash their reliable spending power during the holidays. In 2019, Black shoppers spent $1.4 trillion annually. According to Nielsen, which studies consumer habits projects, by 2024, Blacks will spend $1.8 trillion.
Analysts have figured out; Black consumers love to buy beauty and grooming products, spending over $573 million yearly for personal soap and bath needs. Blacks spend 19 percent higher than any other demographic. No wonder there are so many personal care product companies that are on Black-owned business lists. The pandemic caused Black consumers to be more intentional with their spending. Black unemployment is up, and the pandemic has disproportionately impacted businesses in the Black community. Blacks are urging each other to uplift their own this year. So it’s only safe to ask, is Black Santa coming to town this year? And if he does, will the shift in Black consumer spending make an impact in the Black community?
Racial injustice and protests sparked Black consumers to respond with their wallets. Coordinated efforts throughout the country encourage Blacks to take a “Don’t respect us, don’t expect us attitude over the Black dollar. Black folks are more conscious not to spend dollars with businesses with a record of disrespect or racist attitudes toward Black people. The buy Black movement encourages “mindful consumerism.” Lists of Black-owned businesses circulate on social media.
Sure, Black products lure Black customers into stores and to websites. Black consumers make retailers happy because they have brand loyalty. Don’t be predictable. Don’t be drawn to overspending for the time lost with loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic. Save money, invest money wisely. Look for constructive ways to support and sustain Black businesses and services during the holiday season and beyond.
Media outlets have jumped on the “Buy Black” movement, and many have compiled lists of recommended Black businesses to support. That’s fine. (This is good news for Black Santa.) But many are cherry-picked companies whose products have wide distribution, and investors will one day buy. What about hiring a Black plumber when your sink leaks, or a Black auto mechanic, a roofer, a tax accountant, a realtor, a lawyer, or a doctor. Why not create your own list so that you can refer Black professionals to your friends and family.
Find constructive ways to support Black creatives, artists, artisans, writers, musicians, and businesses. It will make an impact and will keep Black Santa in town all year round. Group unity is the new superpower— use it.
Here are a few ideas for last-minute gifts:
3. Black-Owned Etsy Shops like AquaRockxJewelry Healing Gemstones
4. Sign up for Black Television Streaming service
American Legacy Network (classic films)
5. Take an online yoga class with a Black Yoga teacher.
6. Black Art Depot – Black gift shop
Alice T. Crowe- Opinion columnist
My passion is correcting the missing pages in our history books. Secrets of the Hollow is my latest film series. The first segment, Last Disintegrated School, the untold story of Thurgood Marshall’s fight to desegregate the Brook School in Hillburn, NY, in 1943. This untold story happened eleven years before Brown v. Board of Education. Infobase distributes Last Disintegrated School. Visit my website for information at www.acroweflyz.com. I am currently editing the revised edition of my book, How to Get Black on Track. Follow me on Twitter.