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Big Spenders, Small Investors: African American Shopping Habits

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Sneaker Manufacturers In Full Court Press To Capitalize on BHM

Nike Black History Month Sneaker 2013

Each year, African Americans spend more than $47 billion on Lincoln automobiles, $3.7 billion on alcohol, $2.5 billion on Toyotas, $2 billion on athletic shoes, and $600 million each year on McDonald’s and other fast foods, according to Target Market News Inc., a Chicago-based marketing research group.

If black America counted as an independent country, its wealth would rank 11th in the world.

What does it say when everyone else is capitalizing on a holiday that should be EXCLUSIVE to the African American community, and we continue to come up short?

We’re not picking on Nike specifically, but their ads are ubiquitous and serve as a visceral example of Madison Avenue’s attitude towards reaching into Black pocketbooks.

African American Spending Habits

I have an acquaintance who spent over $5000 in Christmas clothes, sneakers and toys for his grand-kids. When I asked him why didn’t he give them books as a gift, his response was … “then I’d have to read to them before bed!” WTF?

Blacks also spend wildly to keep up their appearances. The black hair care and cosmetics industry counts as a $9 billion a year business, but while African Americans are spending the most, they are profiting the least, said officials from the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association (BOBSA) in Palo Alto, Calif. Beauty product lines designed for African Americans were once 100 percent owned and operated by blacks, today other ethnic groups control more than 70 percent of the market.
nike nb slam bhm 2014

2014 BHM Nike Dunk Low

black spending habits

Estimated expenditures for ‘Apparel’ is $29 Billion and for ‘Books’ $321 Million… and we wonder why our kids are failing in school? Perhaps our emphasis is on the wrong thing!

Think of it this way… We Spend 90X as much on assuaging our low self esteem issues as we do on filling our minds with knowledge of who we are. Could it be that we are more interested in ‘feeling’ better, than being better?

You decide.

Often overshadowed by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech was the real purpose of the The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963 – Economic Empowerment.

While it is true that Blacks today earn substantially more than in 1963, our spending habits and attitude toward money management is still steeped in a mentality shaped by 400 years of slavery.

According to Dr. Boyce Watkins, a Scholar in Residence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Syracuse University in New York, also known as “the people’s scholar,” “We don’t use money to invest or produce,” said Watkins, 42.” When we get our tax refund, we go straight to the store.”

African Americans continue to squander their vast spending power, relegating blacks to economic slavery instead of financial freedom, according to several consumer reports detailing the use of cash in the black community.



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About Bob Coleman

Bob Coleman is the principal at Rhema Web Marketing. The firm specializes in SEO, SEM and Social Media Marketing for small businesses. Rhema specializes is helping businesses get page #1 ranking in search engines, affordably.

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