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You'll receive news of breaking stories, exclusives, updates and headlines on the latest developments in African American marketing and media

Frequently requested data on African American consumers

Black Buying Power:
  $656 Billion (2003)

Black U.S. Population:
  38.3 million

Top Five Black Cities
  - New York
  - Chicago
  - Detroit
  - Philadelphia
  - Houston

Top Five Black Metros:
  - New York-New Jersey
  - Washington-Baltimore
  - Chicago-Gary
  - Los Angeles
  - Philadelphia

Top Five Expenditures:
 - Housing 145.2 bil.
 - Food 56.5 bil.
 - Cars/Trucks 32.6 bil.
 - Clothing 23.0 bil.
 - Health Care 18.0 bil.

Click here for more stats from "The Buying Power of Black America."

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U.S. Census 
Bureau Data

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Shakeup at Sears Holdings elevates Aylwin Lewis to CEO 9-8-05

Walgreens chain sued by 11 black employees alleging discrimination

By Jim Suhr
Associated Press

(June 20, 2005) Eleven black current and former Walgreen Co. workers in Illinois and five other states sued the nation's largest drugstore chain in sales Monday, accusing the company of having a policy of discriminating against minority employees.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, Ill., claims the company has a "pervasive policy" of steering black employees to work in stores in areas that have mostly black or lower-income customers, using an internal system to categorize stores based on race and income.

The lawsuit, seeking class-action status, also alleges that black employees are denied advancement opportunities because the company directs them to its stores with worse profitability and work conditions, at times costing them bonuses often tied to store sales and gross profit.

A Walgreen spokeswoman, Tiffany Bruce, said that while the Deerfield, Ill.-based company does not publicly discuss pending litigation, "we're surprised by the allegations because historically we've cared about equal opportunity for all of our employees."

"We absolutely have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind and strong policies promoting diversity throughout the company," she said.

The lawsuit, alleging that Walgreen engages in "segregation" of its black workers, seeks unspecified monetary damages and a court order permanently barring Walgreen from the questioned employment practices.

"We believe this is a nationwide pattern of discrimination in promotions, compensation and hiring" at Walgreen, said Tiffany Klosener, a Kansas City, Mo.-based attorney for the plaintiffs. "There are a lot more clients we have that are not named in the complaint."

The plaintiffs are from Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Florida, Texas and Michigan.

The lawsuit claims the plaintiffs have encountered racial discrimination at every level of management and that "blacks are routinely denied and passed over for promotions despite their seniority, work experience and/or qualifications," losing out to lesser-qualified whites.

According to the lawsuit, Walgreen categorizes its stores according to racial, ethnic and income demographics, then uses that information to intentionally "segregate" black management workers at often more-dangerous Walgreen sites with large numbers of black or low-income clientele.

"The decision as to which stores have these attributes is not left to the subjective judgment, as the attributes have been officially ascribed to its stores by the highest level of management," the lawsuit alleges.

Walgreen, which has more than 4,800 stores in 45 states and Puerto Rico, had sales last year of $37 billion.

Walgreen shares fell 30 cents, or .65 percent, to close at $45.59 in trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Dillard’s sued for charging black salon customers more than whites

A class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of Alabama  (Western Division) against Dillard’s, Inc. alleging racial discrimination, deceptive sales practices, and unconscionable conduct relating to the marketing and sale of beauty salon services.   
The civil action is brought by plaintiff Debbie Deavers Sturvisant, a resident of Springville, Alabama, as a class action on behalf of all African American persons who have purchased over-priced salon services from any one of the Dillard Salons in the United States and who were harmed by the nationwide course of conduct practiced by Dillard’s. 
The complaint, which has been filed by Attorneys Patrick Cooper and Percy Badham from the Alabama Law Firm of Maynard, Cooper and Gale, PC, states that “Dillard’s intentionally discriminated against the plaintiff and class members by charging them higher prices for the same salon service as those charged to similarly situated Caucasian customers and by specifically instructing their employees and agents to charge higher prices for the same salon services based solely on whether the customer was African American or Caucasian.    

"By charging higher prices to African-Americans for the same salon services offered to Caucasian customers, Dillard’s violated the rights of plaintiff and class members to make and enforce contracts for products and services on the same terms as Caucasian customers,” the complaint reads.
Debbie Sturvisant went to the Dillard’s Salon in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to have her hair washed and set; she was charged $30 for these services – the price for a wash and set for “ethnic” hair.  The price charged for the same service provided to Caucasian customers is $20.  Vaughan Thomas, another class member, experienced the same mistreatment at Dillard’s in Montgomery (AL) and tape-recorded her conversation with the stylists.  Upon questioning the high price charged for service, Thomas was told that it takes longer for ethnic hair to dry and more conditioners are used. 
Representing the plaintiff, Attorney Cooper says, “Dillard's knowingly has maintained a fraudulent and unlawful scheme in order to increase its own revenues and profitability to the detriment of class members by utilizing racially discriminatory dual pricing schedules for salon services.  At all times in advertising and selling these salon services, Dillard's and its agents did not disclose this fact to African Americans prior to providing the service and products.  Dillard’s had an affirmative duty to monitor  its salon managers and employees to prevent this type of racist activity.
Dillard’s, a Delaware Corporation, with its home office in Little Rock, Arkansas, owns and operates approximately 340 retail department stores located in twenty-nine states.  With a concentration of stores in the South and Southwest, Dillard’s has faced a least three lawsuits claiming racial discrimination since 1998.

KFC unveils its prototype store for the future with accents for urban markets

Preview(April 21, 2005) KFC opened the doors to its new vision store this week in Louisville, KY, the headquarters of the company. The new restaurant is part of a plan that will help move the brand into the future.

The new restaurant is one-of-a-kind and is part of the evolution of the brand which started two years ago and is now moving in high gear. The holistic plan focuses on the whole KFC concept -- a more contemporary design; back of the house, state-of-the art equipment set up for growth; aggressive menu testing and customer experience -- southern inspired in both hospitality and menu vision.

Some of the highlights of the new KFC restaurant of the future include:

-- The outside of the building is adorned with paintings by famed African American artist Charly (Carlos) Palmer, who took KFC's historical icons and gave them an updated, cool and modern look. These paintings are also part of the interior.

-- A new look for Colonel Sanders (a younger Colonel, he is sporting an apron and rightfully so, as the Colonel spent most of his time in the kitchen perfecting Kentucky Fried Chicken's famous recipes)

-- The words Kentucky Fried Chicken are proudly displayed on the exterior and interior of the restaurant

-- Digital Jukebox (free of charge for customers to play the kinds of music they want to hear while dining in the restaurant)

-- Southern-inspired brand new menu items slow-cooked and served fast to star alongside KFC's core products. Everything from chicken mashed potato bowls, chicken rice bowls, sausage bowls and Kentucky sides including seasoned collard greens and hot cinnamon apples, as well as buttermilk popcorn shrimp, sweet and spicy candy apple wings and sweet potato pie. The new menu items are unique to the QSR industry.

Last July, KFC opened a prototype restaurant in Washington, D.C., in an urban community. The design and menu items were tested and refined after talking to customers in the neighborhood and catering to their needs. The restaurant increased business by more than 20% and, most importantly, changed how KFC team members and customers felt about KFC. KFC plans to marry the best of the best from both the new urban store and the new store of the future as it moves forward with its concept evolution.

"This new Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant is part of a plan to open another 50 restaurants this year (corporate and franchisee), to see how to best serve our many different customer bases. The groundwork phase is complete and the testing phase is in progress," said KFC President and Chief Concept Officer Gregg Dedrick.

Milwaukee's black newspapers call for boycott of Kohl's Dept. Stores again

By Tannette Johnson-Elie
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

(March 8, 2005)
After getting Home Depot to advertise in African-American newspapers, and pressuring Office Depot and T-Mobile Wireless to do likewise, black newspapers have a new target: Kohl's Department Stores.

Kohl's is the target of a boycott orchestrated by Kimber, Kimber & Associates, a Fresno, Calif., advocacy advertising agency that represents 250 black-owned newspapers across the country.

The purported offense: Kohl's practice of excluding black newspapers from its print media buys. The Menomonee Falls-based retail chain channels its print advertising buys mostly to mainstream media that enable it to reach the largest audiences.

A group of black publishers now calls this practice discriminatory and demands that Kohl's do like other companies that have been targeted and cough up millions of dollars in print ad buys.

Since late November, the Milwaukee Courier, The Milwaukee Times and The Milwaukee Community Journal, Milwaukee's three black-owned weekly newspapers, have been running full-page ads urging black consumers not to shop at Kohl's as part of a nationwide effort organized by Kimber.

"Our (black) publishers see this as a civil rights movement for ad dollars and their survival," says Mark Kimber, chief executive officer of Kimber.

This strong-arm tactic succeeded with Home Depot and Office Depot. Home Depot has launched a $4.7 million advertising campaign with African-American newspapers, said Kimber. According to Ethnic Newswatch, it's the largest such campaign that anybody has done. After it was charged with discrimination by Kimber, Office Depot now spends more than $1 million annually on print advertising with black papers.
Click here to read entire Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article

Wal-Mart launches nationwide ad campaign to counter 'urban legends'

Wal-Mart. Always Low Prices. Always.(Jan. 17, 2005) In a full-page ad published in more than 100 newspapers across the country, Wal-Mart Chief Executive Officer H. Lee Scott said it was time for the public to hear the "unfiltered truth" about Wal-Mart, and time for the company to stand up on behalf of a workforce that includes 1.2 million Americans.

"There are a lot of 'urban legends' going around these days about Wal-Mart, but facts are facts," Scott said. "Wal-Mart is good for consumers, good for communities and good for the economy."

In what Scott acknowledged was an "unusual approach" for Wal-Mart, the company placed ads in dozens of black newspapers including The Amsterdam News, The Chicago Defender and The Washington Afro-American.

"For too long, others have had free rein to say things about our company that just aren't true," Scott continued. "Our associates are tired of it and we've decided it's time to draw our own line in the sand.

"We understand that, as one of the most visible corporations in the world, we will be a target for criticism. When it is valid, we try to learn from it and become a better company," Scott said. "But we have made a commitment to our associates, customers and suppliers that when false allegations are made about Wal-Mart, we will actively correct the record. That's what this day is all about."

Wal-Mart also launched a non-commercial Web site,, to help its associates, consumers, reporters and others access facts about the company.

Macy's agrees to settle discrimination lawsuit brought by customers for $600,000

(Jan. 17, 2005) Macy's has agreed to a settlement in a discrimination lawsuit brought by black and Hispanic customers who said the retail store targeted them as suspected shoplifters. The plaintiffs were represented by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

The retail chain has agreed to pay $600,000 that cover the state's costs for investigating the complaints. Spitzer's office found that blacks and Hispanics were detained, questioned and handcuffed more often than white customers by Macy's security personnel. The case was brought against Macy's East, which operates stores in the Northeast.

As part of the settlement, Macy's has agreed to adopt several measures to address the problem of investigating alleged shoplifters including new training of security personnel and sales people on not engaging in profiling, and to hire an outside auditor to perform unannounced reviews.

A statement released by Macy's said:

"Macy's East welcomes all customers and our goal is always to assure the best possible shopping experience. Macy's does not tolerate discrimination and expressly prohibits profiling. It trains its security team to stop suspected shoplifters based on their behavior, not on their appearance. If anyone is found to have engaged in profiling or any form of discrimination, that person will be disciplined or fired.

"In our discussions, the New York State Attorney General's office has acknowledged that Macy's East has a number of clear anti-profiling policies in place. The agreement we have reached today is focused on assuring that compliance with specific policies and practices is monitored regularly. The memorandum of agreement only focuses on stores in New York State and we are cooperating fully with the terms of the agreement.

"In the spirit of our longstanding commitment to diversity, we intend to work closely with the office of the Attorney General to assure that all customers are treated equally and that all of our employees abide by the letter and spirit of our policies." 

Burger King signs multiyear agreement with Magic Johnson to become a franchisee

(Dec. 6, 2004) Burger King Corp. and an affiliate of Magic Johnson Enterprises announced that the two companies have executed a multi-year agreement in which basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson's Company becomes the newest Burger King franchisee. Making his mark in South Florida, Magic's first Burger King restaurant is located at 5401 N.W. 7th Avenue and now open for business.

Working together with the City of Miami, Burger King Corp. and Magic reached out to several minority contractors through the Neighbors And Neighbors Association.  NANA works to secure funding that will invigorate commercial properties and businesses that serve disadvantaged areas such as Liberty City. Anchoring the South gateway to Osun's Village, a community and economic revitalization initiative which spans four blocks on NW 7th Avenue, Magic's Burger King restaurant will serve as a catalyst for the community's enhancement efforts.

There will be a total of three Burger King restaurants covered by the agreement between Magic Johnson Enterprises and Burger King Corp. in Miami.  The properties are located in Liberty City, Doral and North Miami.

To date, Johnson has provided more than 12,000 jobs to minorities through his many business ventures. They include, Starbucks Coffee, Magic Johnson Theatres, Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund, Magic Johnson 24 Hour Fitness Clubs and TGIF Restaurants.

No word yet on whether there are plans to involve Johnson as a spokesperson for Burger King. UniWorld Group, which handles African-American advertising for the restaurant chain, currently works with Magic as an endorser for another client, Lincoln-Mercury.

Kmart and Sears to become one
under new holding company in $11 billion merger
Impact on black vendors, agencies not yet known

(Nov. 18, 2004) Kmart Holding Corporation and Sears, Roebuck and Co. announced yesterday they have agreed to merge into a new retail company named Sears Holdings Corporation. It will be the nation's third largest retailer, with approximately $55 billion in annual revenues, 2,350 full-line and off-mall stores, and 1,100 specialty retail stores.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was unanimously approved by both companies' boards of directors, Kmart shareholders will receive one share of new Sears Holdings common stock for each Kmart share. The current value of the transaction to Sears, Roebuck shareholders is approximately $11 billion.

The new company will also be the retailer with, arguably, the most significant relationships and experience with African- American vendors, suppliers, and customers.

Specific details have not yet been announced on what changes will be initiated by the newly formed company.
Aylwin B. Lewis, who was named president and chief executive officer of Kmart just one month ago, will carry three titles under the new corporation. Lewis will be vice chairman and chief executive officer of Sears Holdings; president of Sears Holdings and chief executive of Kmart and Sears Retail; and one of the ten members of the new board of directors. 

Edward S. Lampert, chairman of Kmart, will be the chairman of Sears Holdings. He will be joined in an Office of the Chairman by Alan J. Lacy, current chairman and chief executive officer of Sears.
Lacy will also be vice chairman and chief executive officer of Sears Holdings.

The combined company will continue to operate Sears and Kmart stores independently, though it is expected that Sears will exchange places with some Kmart locations and sell some of its mall-based stores.

Some of the vendors and suppliers that currently do business with both Kmart and Sears have expressed concern about the potential for reduced business opportunities as a result of the merger. It is estimated that the two chains currently purchase more than $1.1 billion in products and services from minority owned suppliers.

Both retailers have been know for developing innovative marketing strategies that target African American consumers. For example, Kmart, which uses the services of the Carol H. Williams Advertising agency, has created special newspaper supplements targeting black and Hispanic readers. Sears, represented by Burrell for its black advertising efforts, announced just last month an "ethnic makeover" for 97 of its stores. The competitive leverage of the new holding company may force other retailers to concentrate more on African-American consumers by introducing similar strategies.

Abercrombie & Fitch to change marketing, hiring policies to settle discrimination suit
Company reported a 21% drop in Q3 earnings

(Nov. 17, 2004) The trendy retail chain, Abercrombie & Fitch, has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by black, Hispanic, Asian and female employees by paying a total of nearly $50 million, changing its advertising and marketing materials to include people of color, and establish a corporate department that will oversee diversity policies.

The settlement, in which A&B denies it engaged in any discriminatory practices, was announced after
Judge Susan Illston of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California certified the class status of the multiple lawsuits brought against the company. She then signed a preliminary approval order that called for the following:

- Payment of $40 million to several thousand plaintiffs

- Payment of $7.2 million in legal fees

- Changes to be made in Abercrombie & Fitch's catalogs and advertisements that will reflect racial diversity

- Creation of an Office of Diversity and the position of Vice President of Diversity

- The retention of an expert consultant to help develop and implement a Recruitment and Hiring Protocol

- Establishment of benchmarks for achieving a racially diverse workforce

Yesterday Abercrombie and Fitch Co. reported a 21 per cent drop in third-quarter earnings, citing a nearly $33 million one-time charge to settle the three class-action lawsuits. The clothing retailer was also cautious about the current quarter, saying it expects earnings to be flat.

For the three months ending Oct. 30, the suburban Columbus retailer earned $40.1 million, or 42 cents per share, down 21 per cent from the $50.5 million, or 51 cents per share, earned at the same time a year ago.

"We have, and always have had, no tolerance for discrimination. We decided to settle this suit because we felt that a long, drawn out dispute would have been harmful to the company and distracting to management," stated Mike Jeffries, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. A&B has already hired a VP of Diversity, Todd Corley.

"We can now focus on achieving even greater representation of diversity among our associates and management," said Jeffries. "This will make us a stronger company and make a significant contribution to our future success. We have already started to implement many of these new policies."

Kmart announces the appointment of Aylwin Lewis as president and CEO

(Oct. 18, 2004) Kmart Holding Corporation today announced the appointment of Aylwin Lewis as president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. He will also join the Kmart board of directors. Lewis joins Kmart from YUM! Brands, Inc., where he was president, chief multi-branding and operating officer.

Aylwin Lewis is a 13-year veteran of YUM! Brands, and has been in the restaurant industry for 26 years, beginning his career as a restaurant general manager and rising through the ranks to his most recent position at YUM!, the world’s largest restaurant company with over $8 billion in annual revenue

Edward S. Lampert, chairman of Kmart, said, "We are excited to have Aylwin Lewis join us as our president and CEO. He brings a strong record of successful operating performance. Under his leadership, we expect that Kmart will build further on its financial strength to become a truly great company."

Lampert added that Lewis brings to Kmart a wealth of retail operating experience, a track record of personal and corporate success, tremendous people skills and a strong work ethic and commitment to excellence. "He is the ideal leader and agent of change for Kmart at this time, and we are pleased that he has embraced this challenge with his characteristic passion."

Julian Day, who served as Kmart’s president and CEO since January 2003, will remain on the board of directors and assist Aylwin Lewis in the transition.

Lewis’ first job after college was as district manager of operations for Jack in the Box, a chain owned by Foodmaker Inc., covering a district in Texas. He advanced in a variety of food retail positions, including those with KFC and Pizza Hut, where he was named chief operating officer in 1996.

Following the spin-off of PepsiCo’s Restaurant Division as Tricon Global Restaurants Inc., Lewis served as COO of Pizza Hut, and ultimately was put in a new position at Tricon as executive vice president of operations and new business development. In June of 2002, Tricon Global Restaurants changed its name to YUM! Brands once it acquired the Long John Silver’s and A&W All-American Food restaurant chains.

These two new brands were purchased to place more than one brand under a single roof, called “multi-branding.” In January 2003, Lewis was promoted to president, chief multi-branding and operating officer at YUM! Brands.

Sears announces plans for ethnic makeover for select stores across the nation

(Oct. 15, 2004) Sears, Roebuck and Co. says it is revamping 97 of its full-line stores this month to enhance the retail experience for diverse multicultural market segments nationwide. The store makeovers are part of Sears' national pilot program to add and strengthen apparel lines designed specifically for multicultural shoppers, under one roof. The move follows a two-year analysis of customer buying patterns and preferences to determine the brands and products that Hispanic, African American and Asian shoppers want to buy.

As part of the makeovers, Sears is changing its in-store signage and display formats to best reflect its merchandise offering that has crossover appeal and, at the same time, cater to the fashion-conscious, multi-ethnic audience. If the pilots are successful, Sears expects to expand its multicultural store concept to additional markets sometime next year.

"Now, multicultural shoppers can enjoy a more customized Sears experience," says Cynthia Maignan, Sears' director of multicultural merchandising. "From the moment the customer walks in the door, she will find up-to-the-minute modern fashions and brands that resonate with her sense of style for each season."

The makeovers apply to Sears stores located in communities that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, average 60 percent for multicultural makeup. Major market areas with multi-ethnic populations, including New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago, will feature Sears' multicultural-focused stores.

EEOC files lawsuit against Sears for its firing of an African-American store manager

(Sept. 8, 2004) A lawsuit was filed last week by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Sears Roebuck & Co., that alleges the retailer illegally fired a New Jersey store manager because of his race.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Camden, N.J., alleges that Edwin Broadard, an African-American who was manager of a Sears store in Maple Shade, was dismissed from his position because he failed to limit mechanical repairs to only certified technicians and for having failed to follow proper procedures for providing a free mechanical service to customers.

The EEOC said white employees found in similar situations received only a warning for their conduct.

An Associated Press story said that Sears, which is based in Hoffman Estates, Ill., hasn't seen the complaint, but company spokesman Chris Brathwaite said Broadard's termination "had absolutely nothing to do with his race."

Brathwaite said Broadard was fired for "repeated violations of company policy," but declined to be more specific.

The lawsuit seeks to have Broadard re-instated in his position with back pay and to have company policies changed.

Discrimination lawsuit is filed against Abercrombie & Fitch by Rainbow/PUSH

(Nov. 25, 2003) A nationwide class action lawsuit was filed last week by the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and three law firms in the U.S. District Court in Camden, New Jersey, against retail chain Abercrombie & Fitch alleging racial discrimination in the company's hiring policies. The lawsuit is similar to one filed in June in a federal court in San Francisco.

The lawsuit charges Latino Americans, African Americans and Asian Americans do not fit the "A&F Look." Because of their race, ethnicity and/or national origin, say Rainbow/PUSH officials, Abercrombie does not hire minorities to represent the company on the store sales floor, but relegates minorities to stock room positions, or simply rejects their applications.

Plaintiff Brandy Hawk, a New Jersey resident, applied for a sales associate position at the Abercrombie store in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The complaint alleges that Abercrombie rejected the recommendation of the initial Abercrombie interviewer to hire Ms. Hawk, who is African American. Hawk said she was told she did not fit the image the retailer wanted to project.

According to Hawk's attorney, Bryan L. Clobes, the "suit is not the first example of Abercrombie's mistreatment of minority groups. Just last year, students and civil rights advocates organized and conducted widespread protests and demonstrations expressing outrage over Abercrombie T-Shirts portraying antiquated and offensive stereotype images of Asian Americans."

An Abercrombie & Fitch spokesperson said following the earlier filing that the company does not discriminate and wants a diverse workforce for its stores. 

Wal-Mart, facing major discrimination suit, names two to new office of diversity

(Nov. 24, 2003) Wal-Mart, the nation's largest employer and the target of what could be the largest class-action discrimination lawsuit in history, has established its first company office for diversity. The new department will be headed by Charlyn Jarrells Porter, who most recently headed the retailer's human relations area, has been with Wal-Mart for 11 years.

Also announced was the appointment of Esther Silver-Parker (left) as vice president of diversity relations effective Dec. 1. She is currently an AT&T VP of Corporate Affairs and Corporate Citizenship. Her responsibilities included leading AT&T's foundation and corporate responsibility programs.

"Diversity doesn't just happen," said Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott. "Success in this area requires us to approach it the same way we run our stores -- with focus, energy and enthusiasm. Just saying we are committed to diversity is not enough -- we must put in place the right systems, processes and leadership to make it happen."

Sears adds urban apparel shops to 50 of its stores in holiday test

(Nov. 25, 2003)
Over a decade ago, retail chains introduced special departments featuring hard-to-find afrocentric items during the holiday shopping season to attract more African-American shoppers. Sears is using the concept this year to highlight a different line of merchandise; urban apparel.

Sears has initiated a pilot of 50 urban shops that include popular male urban brands such as FUBU, Icewear, Run Athletics by Russell Simmons, P. Miller and South Pole. The urban shops are located at select stores in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The pilot will run through the holidays, but it's anticipated the urban shops will expand to other stores next year.

Each shop has 15 to 20 clothing racks located in a premium spot within the young men's department. By grouping these brands into one easily identifiable location and enhancing the visual presentation in these 50 stores, the urban shops are set to improve the overall shopping experience for customers of all backgrounds looking to buy urban apparel.

"The young men's customer is very important to us," said Cynthia Rodgers Maignan, director of multicultural merchandise for Sears. "We want him to know we carry the fashion-forward brands he prefers and that we offer an easy and pleasant shopping experience."

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July 6-7, 2005
Wyndham Hotel
Downtown Chicago

The sixth annual event examining the latest trends, findings and practices in marketing to African-American consumers

Plan now to attend one of the industry's most anxiously awaited annual events. This is the most comprehensive and accessible conference on African-American consumer research. It is the ideal environment to explore new trends and business opportunities. Share information and insights with top executives and decision makers.
Registration for the Summit typically reaches "sold-out" capacity. You'll want to reserve your place as soon as possible. Stay in one of Chicago's most luxurious hotels and enjoy the city's spectacular summer attractions.

Click here for more information

11th Annual Edition Available Now

New 'Buying Power' report reveals surge by black households for consumer electronics

Despite tighter economic times, African-American households are significantly increasing their expenditures on consumer electronics for the home, according to the newest edition of The Buying Power of Black America report. In many categories such as video games, televisions, CD players, cable TV service and sound equipment, black households are spending more on average than their white counterparts.

According to the 103-page report, black households had $656 billion in earned income in 2003, an increase of 3.9% over the $631 earned in 2002.

Read more and see the latest expenditure figures for black consumers

Miss this year's big event?

The 2004 Black Consumer Research and Advertising Summit Workbook is available now!

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Amalgamated Publishers, Inc.
American Urban Radio
Allen and Partners
Arbitron Inc.
E. Morris Communications
Hunter-Miller Group
Insights Marketing Group
Johnson Publishing Co.
M. Davis & Co.
Nielsen Media Research
NSights Worldwide
R.J. Dale Advertising
Starcom Worldwide
Target Market News
UniWorld Group
U.S. Dept. of Commerce
Wimbley Group

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