‘Tis the Reason

African Americans spend their holiday dollars conscientiously

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.