‘Tis the Reason

African Americans spend their holiday dollars conscientiously

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Tis the season to give. And during the holidays, African American consumers are especially concerned about where and from whom they buy their gifts.

In a 1998 study conducted by Atlanta-based Ketchum Public Relations African American Markets Group, nearly 85% of African Americans said they prefer to purchase products from companies that have historically supported the black community. In fact, about two-thirds reported that they investigate a company’s minority hiring practices or any negative press it may have received relating to racial issues.

While African Americans tend to shop with a cause in mind all year round, they’re most likely to focus on charitable issues during the holiday season. Last year, Boston-based Cone Inc. found that when it comes to making their holiday purchasing decisions, black consumers are more likely than white consumers (24% vs. 9%) to consider a company’s charitable reputation.

Which goes to show that despite the commercialization that often surrounds the season, African Americans are putting their money where their conscience is.