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Black-owned corporations report a rise in gross sales and curiosity on Blackout Day

Michael De Los Santos saw a surge in sales on Blackout Day as consumers supported his BBQ sauce business.

Source: Michael De Los Santos

When activists and allies announced Blackout Day, some black-owned companies said they saw an increase in support.

The movement urged both black consumers and others to either fully curb spending on Blackout Day or to support black-owned companies to demonstrate the purchasing power of the black community and to highlight the need for economic and financial equality.

Nile, an online community that connects buyers to black-owned brands, saw its user base grow 200% from the previous day on Tuesday.

Nile's founder, Khadijah Robinson, said she launched her website on March 1 after collecting a list of black-owned web companies to help keep her circulating with family and friends for years.

"I really love online shopping and it was so hard to find black brands to shop at. I wanted to make it easier for myself," said Robinson, adding that she had so many requests for the list that she decided to use it a platform to make so others can join.

Today it has 1,900 brands on the platform. Submissions are increasing daily as the focus in recent weeks has increased on supporting black and minority-owned companies as protests against racial injustices continue across the country. The website also gets a boost as consumers buy even more online as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect businesses nationwide. Nile rose from around 4,000 users on the platform in May to around 19,000 in June.

On Tuesday for Blackout Day, Robinson's company went on Instagram to encourage customers to support small, black-owned businesses and to raise awareness of inequalities inside and outside the business world through social media. Followers who are committed to the e-commerce platform and increase brand traffic.

"We are seeing an influx of interest, and interest in the black business support movement has been growing for several years," she said. "People are really trying to be more conscientious about shopping and supporting these small, minority and women's brands, and find our tool really useful to make it possible."

According to recent research, black and minority-owned entrepreneurs were hardest hit during the Covid 19 pandemic, making a day like Blackout Day even more important. The number of active business owners fell nationwide by 22% from February to April, but black-owned companies had an overwhelming impact, with the number of working business owners decreasing 41%. Latino business owners declined nearly a third, and Asian-owned businesses decreased 26%.

Nielsen estimates that black households will spend around $ 1.4 trillion in 2019 and purchasing power will continue to grow.

The website encourages customers to upload receipts of purchases made by black-owned companies, and shows that $ 7.6 million was spent from June 19 to July 6.

Black consumers have a growing impact on the market, said Cheryl Grace, senior vice president of strategic alliances in the United States and consumer engagement at Nielsen. Word of mouth recommendations are also key within the consumer base, Grace said. She expects Blackout Day to have an impact on the money spent.

"African Americans are 40% more likely to be the first to try new products and services," said Grace. "Black consumers are usually trendsetters. … It is a population group that no company can afford to overlook."

Michael De Los Santos owns Mike D & # 39; s BBQ, based in Durham, North Carolina, and sells barbecue sauces and dry massages in stores and online. De Los Santos also lists its sauces on Robinson's Nile platform.

On Blackout Day, he offered automatic discounts for anyone who spent $ 20 or more on his website, and saw an increase of 280% over his daily average sales. This adds to the surge he has seen in recent weeks as more and more customers support black brands.

"Whenever you can gain new customers for black-owned companies, it's a great thing," he said. "And I hope it's not just a one-time thing that people are supporting black businesses at this moment because it's popular. I hope it's a sustainable thing where people can adjust their buying habits long-distance. "

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