Philadelphia, patient PA (October 22, 2012) – According to the National Retail Federation, “nationally, $586.1 billion will be spent during the Winter Holidays.”
The Philadelphia Chapter of The National Alliance of Market Developers (NAMD), today announced its 11th annual “Buy Black” Holiday Shopping Expo will be held at First District Plaza, 3801 Market Street on Saturday, December 8, 2012 from 10:00AM – 5:00PM. Attendees will enjoy an assortment of products and services from nearly fifty different businesses that stretch from Washington, DC to New York, NY. Consumers can interact directly with the entrepreneur who has created the item and receive prices that are significantly more affordable than other alternatives. Admission is free and all are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Based on the special report “African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing” released by Nielsen and the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the African-American consumer exerts a large influence on popular culture and trends. The number of Blacks in America has reached almost 43 million and the collective buying power of this population is projected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015. There are also unique generational characteristics, gender buying behaviors, and cultural distinctions within this market segment. Business leaders that value the African-American consumer will be able to connect directly with those in attendance.
PRWT Services is one of the corporate sponsors of this year’s event. Said CEO Harold T. Epps, “As the largest African-American owned business in the region, we believe that it is our responsibility to reinforce the importance of supporting African-American and other minority businesses. Our support makes good business sense and helps to create jobs!”
According to Target Market News, in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area, Black consumers spend in excess of $15 billion per year. However, the vast majority of these dollars are spent with non-Black owned businesses, a characteristic unique to the Black community. Added Norm Bond, National Chairman of NAMD, “By increasing the dollars that circulate within these businesses, more jobs can be created and the African-American unemployment rate, currently the highest of any ethnic group in America, can be lowered. We hope that all consumers, business owners, and people across the region will show up and lend their support to this vital effort.”
This year competition for consumer dollars is particularly intense. Many large retailers promoted their layaway programs, holiday discounts, and ship-from-store offers beginning in September. Even more are offering other incentives including online discounts, price-matching, and mobile apps to lure shoppers.
In this competitive environment African-American owned businesses, many of whom have miniscule marketing budgets are likely to miss the consumers. This will have a tremendous impact on the community, the health of these businesses and the regional economy. Now is the time for direct action by small business advocates, more conscious spending behavior by African-American consumers, and implementing new buying habits to better harness the collective purchasing power.