A few weeks ago, while wandering around in a Target store in San Francisco, I stumbled upon the Black History Month section. And, it was so exciting! First of all, I was blown away by the uplifting and fashionable t-shirt line. Secondly, I couldn’t believe that there was an entire section dedicated to black excellence. I immediately began to sift through the items and pulled out my phone to share my findings and excitement on Instagram Stories. In full disclosure, I purchased items from the collection. I couldn’t resist!
Nevertheless, while sharing the items on social media, a few questions also came to mind. Like, who are the designers? Do these items support the black community? And, who’s responsible for making this happen?
And to my surprise, Target answered some of those questions on their website in their news & features section.
According to the site, “Target’s Black History Month assortment puts a spotlight on the heritage, legacy and impact of the black community. Now in its fifth year, the collection is available in hundreds of stores across the country and online, and includes more than 100 items for $29.99 or less. Target is also shining a spotlight on products from black-owned businesses that are carried in our stores year-round. One-third of the Black History Month products are from black-owned businesses, including Lip Bar and Alikay Naturals, and more than half are exclusive to Target. This year’s Black History Month marketing campaign, Black Beyond Measure, also features black entrepreneurs and Target team members. The campaign name was designed to amplify success stories and celebrate blackness, an uplifting sentiment to empower future generations.”
Additionally, “Target’s African American Business Council, which includes more than 1,000 team members, was the driving force behind creating the assortment five years ago and continues to advise our teams on the collection. The team spent months creating meaningful events at our Minneapolis headquarters to help educate and engage team members, as well as celebrate our vendors.”
Three members from Target’s team shared what working on the collection means to them:
Target’s Black Leadership
Melanie Gatewood, Director of Multicultural Merchandise, Minneapolis
On putting together this year’s assortment: “The process started by looking at the items that truly resonated with our guests in last year’s assortment—both on social media as well as from a sales perspective. The items that were most impactful last year were the ones that highlighted individuals with lasting legacies—this is where the theme, Black Beyond Measure, came from. The entire team of more than 20 team members came together to build an assortment that represented as many definitions of success as possible—including stories from entrepreneurs, artists, activists, poets, chefs and more.”
Erica Anderson, Store Director, Atlanta
Guest love: “Our guests’ excitement for this collection is priceless! Recently, a mother came in to shop the collection with her two daughters and they were looking at the ‘Inventors’ tee. The daughters were going back and forth naming black inventors and guessing what he or she invented. I found myself joining in with them and having a great time, in awe of their knowledge.”
Kellen Axen, Senior Manager of Reporting and Insights, Minneapolis
Partnering with vendors: I was part of the team that brought Roundel—Target’s media company—into our Black History Month work. From a marketing perspective, I’m most proud of how we partnered with our vendors this year. Here on Roundel, we work closely with a number of amazing vendors, and we invited them to celebrate Black History Month together with us. It makes total sense: These brands have really amazing stories to tell too.
It is an opportune time for black business owners. Take a look at the black business you can support this month at Target.