There is a dirty little secret in America. Black people are doing better than the media would like you or US to know. The Juggernaut that is the Black Buying Dollar has been growing each year since the 1940’s. The problem we face is that no one is telling black folks that they are doing something right, despite what the mainstream media and national political leaders would have us to believe.
A recent study revealed that the Black community had an estimated buying power of over $1.4 trillion dollars. That number is more than huge, it represents a number larger than the GDP of the country of Mexico, the U.S. #1 trading partner.
How Important is the Black Buying Dollar
Did you hear that? The Black community has more of an impact on the U.S. economy that the entire nation of the #1 trading partner Mexico. That is powerful but you’ll never hear that from the mainstream media. They are too busy diverting our attention from the fact that a people who less than 50 years ago was still segregated on buses and in markets in 2020 was a juggernaut in the economy of the most powerful country in the world.
If this revelation hasn’t sunk in yet, we’ll put it in another way. What would happen if Mexico all of the sudden threatened to stop trading with the U.S.? Not only would the Secretary of State be on the first plane to Mexico City, but there would be a basket of flowers and a new Cadillac with a bow waiting for the Mexican President when he woke up.
This is how important those dollars are to the U.S. economy. This is what black consumers and black retailers are missing. The impact of the Black communities’ dollar is essential for the American economy to survive. Without these dollars circulating in the system American retailers, banks and saving and loans would collapse. So how is it that retailers don’t cater more to black consumers?
American car manufacturers were confronted with a rude awakening nearly 30 years ago. The American consumer had been screaming they wanted a more fuel efficient, reliable automobile. Detroit’s’ answer, “You’ll like what we’re giving you and be happy with it.” The consumer put up with the lack of quality and diversity for a few more years but the handwriting was on the wall. America was fed up.
In came European and Asian auto manufacturers with their euro-styling and fuel-efficient version of American cars. The answer from the consumer? Market share began to shift. Toyota, Honda which at the time was eeking out 2% began to chomp away at GM and Ford dominance. Today, you can’t drive down the street without seeing foreign made vehicles everywhere. The answer to the American auto manufacturer was loud and clear. “We’ll take our business to whomever will listen to us.”
The Message from Black Buyers
This is the message Black America is trying to get U.S. retailers to hear. Consumers want to be heard and serviced. If the U.S. retailer will not listen to the Black consumer, then it is up to Black retailers to court black consumers. With $1.4T in buying power at stake, we can’t afford not to.
It is up to up to black retailers to offer the products, service, styling, and variety black American consumers are not just looking for but have come to expect from American brands. Everything from shoes to electronics are on the table. Not only are tried and truth products on the table but new and innovative products especially are on the horizon.
With more interest focused on the new horizon of black wealth, education and upward mobility, retailers will be hard-pressed to keep the status quo. At some point history will repeat itself and consumers, in this case Black consumers will say enough is enough and take their dollars to the retailer who is listening to their position.