Wrote a piece for The Root today on how Black Friday protests may have contributed to the slide in sales this past holiday weekend. Check it out:
Getting in the black got a little bit harder for some retailers this holiday season thanks to everyone from the retailers themselves to nationwide protests related to Ferguson.
In figures released Sunday by the National Retail Federation, sales were down by 11 percent this past Thanksgiving weekend. That’s a near $7 billion drop in revenue – from $57.4 billion last year to $50.9 billion.
Why the drop? Some blame stagnate wages in our recovering economy. Others credit online retailers with edging out Black Friday. But could it also be the nationwide protests over the non-indictment of former Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson? After a grand jury did not return an indictment against Wilson in the shooting death of teen Michael Brown, activists across the nation continued protests, including #ShutItDown, a series of protests targeting major retailers, shopping malls and areas of transit throughout the U.S.
One organizer did feel the protests had an impact on declining sales.
“Boycotting Black Friday was something we’d been pushing for a while,” said T-Dubb-O, 26, a St. Louis-based hip hop artist and activist who participated in Black Friday protests and was at the White House on Monday with several other Ferguson-related activists. “It wasn’t just something pushed locally … It’s something we’ve been pushing (nationally). The fact that other communities looked up and joined that fight I’m not surprised.