Sunday, January 13, 2008

American ethnic buying power

This article from Afrique (you may have to scroll down for to THE AMERICAN ETHNIC BUYING POWER) has this to say about the spending power of black-Americans and a little story about how Target came to the neighborhood...

Africans and African Americans are the top minority spenders in year 2006. Their consumer power is more geographically dispersed than that of other ethnicities. It has become a large enough representation of a significant segment in many states. In states such as Georgia, New York, Chicago, Texas, California and Florida, the average spending power of African Descendants were grater than $50 billion dollars.

A quick example is in Chicago, where the Ghanaian population alone (Not counting Nigerians, Kenyans, Ethiopians, Rwandans, Belizeans and other African Descent groups) numbered close to 10,000. 2,000 of them own houses around the Lake Park Area. The Majority of their homes are roughly in the two hundred to mid two hundred ranges.

While the last generation of Ghanaians are small business owners, their children are growing up and starting to become active consumers in society. “There are close to three thousand or four thousand kids from just our Ghanaian community! They buy Play Stations, iPhones, and whatever a normal American kid would want.” Says Reuben Hadzide, the president of the National Ghana council in Chicago. “The families consume just like other Americans, for pharmaceutical goods, they go to Walgreen or CVS, for groceries they go to Jewel, and for clothing, they shop in regular department stores.”

“The stigma from retail stores is that minorities do not have money.” Alderman Freddrenna M. Lyle who directs the sixth ward of Chicago told Afrique of her story of bringing Target into the neighborhood. Target Store is a great addition to any community. However, for years Target has refused Alderman Lyle’s plead to take its business into the neighborhood. One day Alderman Lyle asked Target to check their zip code tracker. “Whenever you purchase something, they ask for your zip code because they want to track and see where their buyers are coming from. I told them to check, and finally they did. It turns out even though Target was not in our neighborhood, these people would drive out to their stores and buy their goods therefore proving that there is demand for them in this ward.” Says Alderman Lyle. In 2002, Target finally came to the ward with their 87th Street location.

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