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Archive for November 2014

On Black(out) Friday and Ways To Affect Retail Profit

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Ok.  So there has been a lot of speculation—

–well, I won’t call it speculation.  Just downright naysaying about how a Black Friday weekend boycott will have little to no impact on, well, anything.

I thought about writing a brief Facebook status attempting to explain the ways in which this would actually force long-term change by using this as a springboard to something bigger.  But that would be a pretty long status.

So, in addition to running down just how much of an impact this could have on the economy, in this post there are also tips and hints as to how you can really hit retailers where it hurts by removing your  spending dollars from businesses that have little to no interest in investing in your community, whether that be in the form of jobs or tax dollars.

Follow me, if you will:

  • African-Americans are projected to spend 1.1 trillion dollars in 2015. Yes, that is a “T” in the front of that “rillion”.  This isn’t a new trend with us, as we, as a collective group, have been one of the biggest consumers in American society since being able to be paid to work.  There are several reasons for this, but in short, we spend this much with others because we don’t typically have many options to spend our earned revenue among ourselves.  Therefore, our dollars tend not to stay and benefit our communities, but are put into the pockets of people who will turn and invest your spending dollars into their own communities.
  • So, here is the rub: your goal this weekend is not necessarily to boycott ALL spending and not support the economy at all. In fact, it is geared to get people to invest in establishments that are invested in you and your community.  Take advantage of Small Business Saturday (which just happens to be the day after ‘Black Friday’) by finding  and supporting small businesses in your community or other communities.
  • Your other goal, meanwhile, should be to have an adverse effect on pockets of any other retailer who does not fit into the aforementioned categories. They count on your presence in their stores this weekend to benefit them; so the best way to counteract this: show up in the stores.

Buy nothing.

If anything, use the time as a chance to plan out your spending over the next month.  Compare prices.  But do not spend one cent in these stores, as any transaction would count towards the total number of transactions (yes, they keep track of that) and affect margins and profit for the business in question.

Also, one other thing that is often tracked at these stores are the amount of customers that enter the store versus the amount of customers that actually make a purchase.  Want to really mess up the stats?  Any store with one entrance and exit (like, a Best Buy, for example) track customers using cameras and sensors to count customers.) Entering through the entrance door and leaving back out through the same door will count you as a customer twice.  Or, just walking in and out of the store will count you as a customer multiple times, even if you don’t make a purchase.

Throw off the statistics and make it appear that even less was made over this weekend.

  • What you think about whether or not this will work says a lot about your faith in us, as people. It says a lot about your willingness to try something different.  Peaceful protests, rioting, looting, die-ins, banners—all of these things actually have their role in starting a revolution.

But this is something that has been proven to generate a response.  Look no further than Selma and the bus boycott during the civil rights movement.  Whether or not this generates anything depends solely on you and who you can get to help you support it.  And for those who have not developed a plan to not consume for two weeks or more (yes, some of us are prepared to do just that–more on that later)–the goal is to at the very least, minimize your spending.  You may still have to purchase gasoline, get prescriptions, etc.  But plan accordingly and if you must shop, try to spend less than you might in a regular trip.

  • Finally, as I mentioned earlier, this is meant to be a springboard into something bigger. To find out if we can actually start to pinpoint minority businesses that actually support us and have our best interests at heart.  To find out how many dollars we can actually keep in circulation in our community before the money leaves.  Let’s see if this can actually make any sort of difference.

And if it needs to be fine-tuned, so be it.  A failure isn’t marked by some of us still supporting the retailers this weekend.  A failure is marked by us doing this this weekend only to resume consuming in the same pattern we have been.


Written by aceviewblogger

November 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Iota Sweetheart Profile #18: (The) Financial Aide

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(Writer’s note: This profile is being written on the eve of the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital Walk, to be held in various locations throughout the country tomorrow. 

At the time of this writing, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated has raised over $30,000.

At the time of this writing, Iota Sweetheart Sherri Bester has raised $3,690 of that total.

What kind of individual could raise 10% of all funds collected, proving that, literally and figuratively, we “Walk that Walk?”

You’re about to find out.)

Please introduce yourself to the readers.

Name: Sherri Bester.

I became a Sweetheart, Spring 1991, Sigma Chapter, Boston College.
Our line name was called ‘All as One”.  There were three men and two women, myself included.
What drew your interest to Iota Sweethearts?
Well, at the time I can honestly say I didn’t know too much about Iota. I was approached by 3 young men. They asked me if I’d be willing to help, and naturally, I asked how would this benefit me. Actually it’s funny now but, they explained the whole Sweetheart thing to me. It piqued my interest and so it began. (LOL)
What is your current job title/career?
I work for Strayer University I work in the finance department and I’ve been here for 4 years in December. I love what I do and if you ask anyone they’ll tell you that I love working with money. 
Please name an aspiration you hope to accomplish within the next 20 years.
My aspiration I want to accomplish, is to become the National Treasurer for Iota Sweethearts.
How has Iota helped you in your endeavors, personal or professional?
Iota [has] helped me with both areas. I find myself stepping up to the plate more, taking on more responsibilities in my current profession, as well as in my personal life. 
What would you say to anyone considering membership in Iota Phi Theta or Iota Sweethearts?
What I’d say to someone considering membership….well, I’d let them know that you must be willing to work, and to be involved with your community. It’s not always about the party but the message. Showing the world that we are not the average organization but, to show we will excel at being the best! I have the honor of working with the best group of women, [and] they exemplify what it means to be “Gracious Ladies”.
To donate to Iota Phi Theta’s St. Jude Walk, go here or the hyperlink above: 
(photo provided by Sherri Bester)

Written by aceviewblogger

November 21, 2014 at 9:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized