African-American Consumer Buying Power Nearing $1 Trillion in 2010

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African-American Consumer Buying Power Nearing $1 Trillion in 2010

Wielding buying power that will approach $1 trillion this year, the 40 million-strong African-American population is an important component of an economy increasingly dependent on the needs and preferences of multicultural shoppers, according to “The African American Market in the U.S., 8th Edition” by New York-based market research publisher Packaged Facts, a division of

“With such financial clout, marketing efforts to reach out to African-Americans are likely to increase,” noted Packaged Facts publisher Don Montuori. “Major consumer products marketers have begun to align their strategies with the multicultural majority emerging in the U.S., and some have even indicated that multicultural consumers have become their core focus as they strategize and set their sights on the next 10 years.”

The African-American population isn’t as large as the U.S. Hispanic market, but the disposable personal income of both demographic groups is projected to trend comparably over the following five years, with each seeing cumulative growth of at least 28 percent from 2009 through 2014. Packaged Facts forecasts that the buying power of African-American shoppers will hit an estimated $1.2 trillion by the close of this period.

Although affected badly by the recession — unemployment rates for African-Americans exceed that of any other major population group — this population segment holds a generally more optimistic view of the future than other Americans do, due to the sense of empowerment gained by the election of Barack Obama, the report found. This optimism extends to their own personal finances and a general tendency to agree that they’re less likely to delay making such major purchases as cars in the near future.

“The African American Market in the U.S., 8th Edition” details African-American consumer shopping patterns in department stores, supermarkets, drug stores and other retail outlets, as well as online and from catalogs. The report looks at the forces shaping the buying decisions of this group, delineating how African-Americans decide where to shop and what influences them while they’re shopping. Additionally, the attitudes and behavior of affluent African-American shoppers are analyzed. Primary data on African-American consumer behavior comes from the Summer 2009 Experian Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS).

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