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Philly’s conscious shopping trend has Black-owned businesses optimistic about holiday sales

Darryl C. Murphy, WHYY.org, 


(…) Dorothea Gamble co-owns Trunc, a shop in Northern Liberties that sells the work of local creators, with her partner Dagmar Mitchell. The pandemic challenged them to be more efficient. Gamble said she and her partner have been more critical about their merchandise and expenses.

“You do have to keep on top of things, but not like now,” said Gamble. “There’s no wiggle room, and your focus has to be sharp as a tack.”

The 65-year-old Black woman said the business did not get the push driven by increased anti-racist awareness that Yowie and others received, but more recently, they’ve seen a spike in interest.

The momentum ought to continue through the holidays, said Gamble.

Dorothea Gamble in front of her store Trunc in Northern Liberties.
Dorothea Gamble in front of her store Trunc in Northern Liberties. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

“These last couple, three months have really been phenomenal,” the entrepreneur said. “We’re expecting a pretty decent Christmas.”

The National Retail Federation agrees that the outlook for Christmas should be decent for retailers like Gamble. Sales during November and December will increase slightly over 2019, the trade group said.

That increase excludes automobile dealers, gas stations, and restaurants, as people abide by stay-at-home orders and avoid travel. The optimistic retail forecast continues a trend that shows a 4% increase from 2018 to 2019 and an average holiday sales increase of 3.5 % over the last five years.