Does Walmart Support Black-Owned Businesses?

Black history is more than just the past.


is dedicated to celebrating its black associates, entrepreneurs, and African-American communities in the United States, whose legacies are still being written. From makeup and fashion to food and more, you can explore a wide variety of black-owned business products and items that honor black culture at everyday low prices. I'm always thrilled to learn about emerging black-owned brands and see them fill in spaces and gaps.

Bold Xchange is an online marketplace created by Danielle Deavens and Doug Spencer with the goal of making it easier to find and purchase black-owned brands. Walmart's activations at the BLACK ENTERPRISE Women of Power Summit demonstrate their commitment to supporting black women in business, particularly black-owned beauty brands. The increasing variety of black-owned products on the shelves and websites of domestic retailers has become one of the most visible signs of change in the business world. Since the beginning of widespread protests in the United States to condemn historic and current police killings of African Americans, retailers have pledged their support to the black community through social media posts and donations. It is among the growing number of black-owned brands that national retailers have begun selling over the past year in an effort to better reflect customer diversity and commitment to promoting racial equity after George Floyd's murder.

To get an idea of how retailers could increase the number of black-owned companies whose products they sell, they could look into the beauty category that includes makeup, skincare, and hair care products where retailers are already buying from a growing number of black-owned businesses. The couple has paid for it by hiring other black-owned companies, including the manufacturer of the hair care products and the fulfillment company that ships the orders. There is only one publicly traded company, Urban One Inc, on Black Enterprise magazine's list of the 100 largest black companies, which means that most of its voting shares are black owned. It's unclear how much shelf space black-owned businesses currently occupy in retail, and the figure would certainly vary by retailer and industry. Harlem Hops, which will celebrate its second anniversary this year, is the first and only black-owned craft beer bar in Manhattan.

The biggest obstacle to getting more black-owned businesses to appear on retail shelves is, in general, that retailers are willing to have the conversation in the first place. The group also shares resources such as a database of black-owned businesses and suggests strategies that companies can use to grow a diverse supplier base. A quick scan of the aisles of your nearest large retailer will likely yield few black-owned business products, which is not surprising when black entrepreneurs tend to get less funding and black executives are largely absent from senior leadership of big business.

Tessa Monday
Tessa Monday

Freelance internet maven. Hardcore burrito aficionado. Professional internet trailblazer. Wannabe zombie fanatic. Professional travel expert. Friendly travel enthusiast.