Analysts say ‘black and brown’ buying power is largely untapped

At Riverside’s Galleria at Tyler mall it’s Christmas in full bloom. At San Bernardino’s Inland Center mall the holiday decorations have been up since late October.

Galleria shopper 29-year-old Shelanda Lee is making her list and checking it twice – cautiously.

“I’m being very picky this year,” admits Lee a mechanical engineer who estimates her household income in the six figures. “I’m slowly getting in the holiday spirit. But I already know what I want.”

With a population of 40 million and buying power approaching $1 trillion in 2010, analysts say African Americans could play a key role in boosting holiday sales.

Santa’s early arrival is not about holiday spirit – but spurring holiday spending. Black Friday signs went up weeks before Halloween. Analysts are predicting a sales rise of 2.2 percent this year and retailers are trying to lure the early birds.

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