NEW YORK — Apparel marketers are taking some steps to boost their appeal to African Americans — but they’re still behind the curve, compared with such industries as automotive, electronics, financial services and personal care.

Several dynamics are feeding the problem: African Americans are spending a smaller share of wallet on apparel — even though it’s still more than the broader U.S. populace; African Americans are a diverse market and targeting any segment too narrowly is liable to alienate the larger group, and apparel brand marketers tend to see their labels as portraying a singular image — and are loathe to stray for fear of alienating their core customer.

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