Black or African fashion is everywhere, but unfortunately, it isn’t seen everywhere because they aren’t seen in major department stores anywhere. In fact, one would have to venture out into a super hidden market in order to get African prints or Black designs, but these fashions definitely won’t be found in your everyday stores at any point in time.
It seems that every place around the globe stocks European brands and every race or ethnicity has no problem purchasing and wearing the attire, however, when it comes to Black or African styles that move beyond the normal European look, they are overlooked by merchandisers when it comes to stocking them in department stores, no matter how beautiful the garment.
Does this mean that no one wants to wear Black or African designs and merchandise or is it because there is no market for them? On the other hand, is there a market, but merchandisers refuse to cater to that market because they feel there isn’t enough money there? Could it be racism as well?
It could be some of the above, unfortunately, but Black entrepreneurs everywhere will face this particular hassle at some point in time, especially if in the fashion industry. This is why whenever it can be called out, it should be, even to those unaware that it is actually being done.
This type of fashion exclusion from major department stores should be called out in order to:
- Introduce other cultures to fantastic products that can be used and worn by all people.
- Increase revenue to Black entrepreneurs in the industry.
- Create a larger and broader market where it was once thought it was only a small niche.
- Serve communities abroad who find it difficult to purchase Black created fashion.
- Make it the norm… just like European brands are the norm globally.
One could do the above, but the bottom line is that until Black dollars put money together to either buy out or launch a department store in order to secure nice places for Black prints and fashion and more, there will be an uphill battle. Therefore, here are some pointers for those who may want to be a Black Entrepreneur launching a department store, which is simply a place where multiple types of goods are sold, sectioned into departments:
- Write down the number and types of departments that will be in your store such as electronics, clothing, beauty and health.
- Highlight what makes you absolutely unique. Black-owned prints and fashion is one of them while also carrying brands made by other ethnicities as well. Never exclude, but include.
- Find a great location for your department store where there will be easy access for customers and possibly even where the masses already shop.
- Before all of these, have a great business plan that covers all bases – accounting, financials, marketing etc.
Remember, your department store doesn’t have to be a large one like Belk or Walmart, but it can be a department store where Black prints and fashions, beauty products and more are not excluded which will also place revenue directly inside the Black community. It’s all about building your own table and not necessarily having to be invited to one.