Nordstrom signs 10-year contract with 15% commitment to long-term investment in black businesses

The list of leading retailers joining the growing nationwide 15 Percent Pledge campaign to invest in Black-owned businesses grows.

The latest to join us is Nordstrom, which owns and operates 356 combined stores in the United States and Canada. The leading fashion retailer is the first to sign with a 10 year commitment allocate 15 percent of its storage space to black marks.

15 Percent Pledge Founder Aurora James says pledging 15% of storage space for black brands is the least large companies can do to invest in black businesses. (Photo: @ aurorajames / Instagram)

“Over the next 10 years, Nordstrom will increase its purchases tenfold from brands owned or founded by blacks by the end of 2030,” said Pete Nordstrom, brand director and president of Nordstrom, Inc. “The Long term societal change cannot happen overnight and we are in there for the long term, ”her statement continued.

News of the partnership generated resounding enthusiasm and support on social media.

“Keep pushing ️”

“Yes !! Systemic change takes time, scale and commitment!

” YES ! ! My favorite department store is about to get even better ”

The 15 percent commitment was launched in June 2020 by the founder of the accessories brand Black Brother Vellies: Aurora James. So far, the organization has garnered support from major retailers such as GAP, Ulta Beauty, Macys, Sephora and Bloomingdales, to name a few.

According to the Pledge, blacks propose to represent only 15 percent of the population, but they wear a purchasing power over $ 3 trillion. At a minimum, the Pledge estimates that companies can provide 15% of their storage space to showcase and invest in black brands that often lack the financial backing to get into the investor lists of large retailers.

“If they [corporations] agreed to do it in a major way, which isn’t even that major – it’s sort of the bare minimum, actually – so a full ripple effect could take place, ”James said, explaining the ideation of the Commitment to Vogue. The goal of the Pledge is to increase the economic power of black-owned businesses and to set the standard for how large corporations invest in these brands. Helping the campaign gain traction has been its approach of inviting businesses to join, although not all calls have had desirable results.

15 Percent Pledge calls on Target to launch its own initiative that does not support black brands. (Photo: @ 15percentpledge / Instagram)

Shortly after its launch, the Pledge called mega-retailer Target to join the pledge. The retailer chose not to participate, but instead launched its own initiative with a pledge to spend $ 2 billion with black-owned businesses by 2025. “Target, isn’t the black community worth more for you ? Was the question asked of the retailer who grossed more than $ 93 billion in 2020.

The Pledge was offended both by Target’s position, which would represent less than 1% of its revenue, and by its marketing plan which would have made it appear that the brand was in partnership with the Pledge. Jacques’ organization called the retailer online in several social media posts.

“To be clear, while their branding appears to be part of the Commitment, it isn’t. Their commitment is $ 2 billion over four years. @target has revenue of $ 94 billion per year, which means its engagement is around half a percent. Less than 1%. We should not be applauding this. We deserve so much more than that.

In a statement, the Pledge said Target has no structure or any real way to measure the outcome of the company’s investment. “Any commitment to invest in blacks is a step in the right direction, but Target should formalize its commitment by signing the 15% pledge and working to allocate 15% of its storage space to brands owned by them. Black. “

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