Juneteenth Gaining Momentum

Protests for racial equality and Black Lives Matter across the U.S. have given momentum to the celebration and significance of Juneteenth. Juneteenth, also known as African-American’s Independence Day, is the anniversary of June 19th, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas and alerted the enslaved Africans that they were free. However, only 47 states recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, and efforts to make it a national holiday have been stalled in Congress.

Shoppers celebrate the day with families at home, where food brings new and old connections together. Some cities, like Atlanta and Washington, hold events like parades and festivals, though this will look different this year with concerns for coronavirus.

While it is not a major shopper holiday, current events are prompting brands to speak up and shoppers to take note. Of Americans, 74% support the protests and 54% think brands play an important role in conversations on race relations. Brands are responding with statements and action in response to demands for change. Examples include Nike, Twitter, Square, Spotify and more, announcing that June 19th will be a company holiday, as an act of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Hulu also announced that they will be postponing premier dates in respect of that day. 

Brands and Retailers that walked the talk were revered by shoppers and saw increased support from them across conversations. Shoppers can see through disingenuous statements and actions making authentic consistency key to ensure efforts aren’t seen as one-time, reactionary responses. Brands and retailers with long-term plans, like celebrating Juneteenth, will see benefits reflected in sales as shoppers continue to seek their support on the issues they care about. 

Contributed by: Celia Hoag, Account Planner, Integer Denver

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