I came across the post by Dawn from Black Economics UK on a Facebook platform we both belong to. The post was directed at black owned businesses who would wish to feature their goods in John Lewis stores and I went “Yessss, at last”!! A great opportunity for African and Black owned businesses to sell their products directly to the upmarket, mainstream audience.
Thanks to the persistence of Aurora James who called on brands, including Net-a-Porter, Target, and Whole Foods, to sign the 15 percent pledge, a commitment to buying 15 percent of their goods from Black-owned businesses.
This came after the mass Black Lives Matter protests that proceeded the George Floyd murder in the United States. It is believed that Black people which include mixed raced blacks form a modestly estimated 7 – 10% of the entire UK population, and that number whatever the real figure is, is growing daily thanks to immigration and growing families.
The time has come for the presence of the Black economy to be represented and seen in the mainstream commerce. Previously, black goods and services were underground, home based enterprises directed mostly at people within the immediate community. And most marketing strategies by many Black owned businesses are targeted to the Black or African segment of the wider community.
And it is usually erroneously assumed that such goods are second rate, unprofessional and of a lesser quality. But this cannot be any further from the truth. For example, I personally know a lot of Nigerian entrepreneurs in London, Liverpool and Manchester who produce high quality items that can be featured in any store and compete with any producers anywhere in the world.
There are several highly talented and driven individuals with personally produced and branded cosmetics lines, shoe designers, human hair producers and fashion designers and now, within the Black Community. All of them can have their products featured on top stores shelves or on major online stores such as :
Woo Commerce Store
Currently, there are calls for interested entrepreneurs to take up shelf spaces on a pop-up, trial basis for their products at John Lewis stores in shopping centres all over Britain.
From 12th October to 19th October, interested and approved businesses can take up 1 week trial spaces to sell their products in shopping centres with high footfall.
The space would be a Pop up Store for one week at a cost of £300+vat per week. Or price could be cheaper if you share a space with another business. Products can be Fashion, Cosmetics, Art, Furnishings, Toys, Food (pre-packaged).
Interested, businesses please contact Dawn on 07960 932 860, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org