Will Americans of all colors respond to ‘Shop Black Week’?

Discussion
Source: Shop Black Week 2019
Nov 22, 2019
George Anderson

Today marks the beginning of the very first “Shop Black Week” (Nov. 22 – Nov. 29) when Americans are being asked to make at least one purchase from a black-owned business.

“What we believe is that if every American made a purchase, no matter how small or big, most black-owned businesses wouldn’t be able to handle the increase, providing evidence that by supporting black-owned businesses on a regular basis, we could permanently and systematically change the economic condition of the black community forever,” said Carla Tillman, media strategist for Shop Black Week, in a statement. 

Around 200 business and community groups are contributing to the effort, which supports a wide variety of businesses of all sizes.

“No time in recent history have so many different types of organizations come together for a single cause,” said Charles H. DeBow, III, vice president programs, National Black Chamber of Commerce.

Organizers and participants are optimistic it will help move the needle for black-owned businesses, in part, because of the wide media coverage the event has garnered. The major television networks and their affiliates, along with newspapers and magazines, have covered the story. Radio exposure has also been extensive, with news of the event making its way to talk radio, sports radio and Country and Western stations. Social media exposure has been robust.

“I’ve been in promotions for over 20 years, and being a part of a campaign that commands the volume and brevity of media attention has surprised even me,” said Rochelle Williams, Shop Black Week’s public relations representative. 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Shop Black Week be successful in attracting new customers for its retailer participants? Do you see an opportunity in the future, if not now, for online marketplaces and malls to highlight black-owned businesses in support of this effort?

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"Of all the special shopping weeks that have been established, this is probably the most important one — the single one that really should be supported powerfully."

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3 Comments on "Will Americans of all colors respond to ‘Shop Black Week’?"


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Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

This is really hard for me to say, but I think they’re late to the game and I can’t see this effort succeeding.

Why hard to say? Because of all the special shopping weeks that have been established, this is probably the most important one — the single one that really should be supported powerfully.

My advice to the group would be to look for something fresh, new and different. There must be options which will get attention AND deliver the benefit.

For example, maybe make the group more powerful (an NAACP for commerce) by getting far, far more members who put notices in their windows then communicate with the public about what it means. People should be aware of this 365 (or 366) days a year — not merely for one week.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

I’ll have to concur with Doug here: too many “Shop XXXX Week”s around, and this one has the added complication that most people, I would imagine, would have trouble identifying what are and are not “black owned businesses”. Certainly they extend well beyond the stereotypes shown — hair care and restaurants — but are not readily identifiable.

Casey Golden
BrainTrust
1 month 27 days ago

A week is not an impact strategy or a strong customer acquisition in my opinion, because a week will not provide a long-term return. On the other hand, I believe shopping local can have a profound impact on the community and an initiative worthy of investment. Would it make sense to gather more organizations and support for a large scale all year “shop local” initiative that does “Meet the Founder” expose’s and provide the media content, awareness, and access small businesses need to grow and compete with large national chains?

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Of all the special shopping weeks that have been established, this is probably the most important one — the single one that really should be supported powerfully."

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