Last year Chicago ad agency OKRP created Black Shop Friday, a program and campaign that encourages Chicagoans to shop at Black-owned businesses on the day after Thanksgiving.
Now the well-received program is being expanded to include a partnership with Target to provide additional media support and training opportunities to diverse businesses.
Over 700 businesses are participating this year, up 25% versus 2020.
Target is providing retail training for participating businesses and expanding the reach of an integrated marketing campaign. Participating Black-owned businesses are encouraged to apply for the Target Accelerator Programs, “Takeoff” and “Forward Founders” which are designed to increase their potential for long-term success in retail.
Maurice Cooper, senior vice president marketing, Target said that “Equity in access, resources and exposure for Chicago business owners is key in creating and sustaining generational wealth,” by way of explaining the big box retailers interest in supporting the Black Shop Friday Program.
The initial “Black Shop Friday” program was created by Black and diverse staff members at OKRP, led by Aubrey Walker, Executive Creative Director in November 2020. The success of the program has led to the establishment of Black Shop Friday as a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to amplifying Black voices & culture.
“Black Friday has been around for a long time, but what has been missing is the Blackness,” said Walker. “As we began thinking about things we could do to address racial inequities, we were inspired by programs that support the idea of shopping at Black-owned businesses. We saw a way to add to that concept by flipping Black Friday into Black Shop Friday and asking people to add one Black-owned business to their shopping cart and buy something really dope that supports the Black business community.”
Last year the award-winning initiative helped featured businesses see an increase in traffic due to the campaign and realize increased awareness with over 2 million impressions and engagement coming from a diverse population with people coming from all over the city to visit and support local businesses.