What are retailers doing for Black History Month 2020?

As Black History Month takes shape in the UK, we take a look at how some retailers are marking the occasion.

By guest author Georgia Wright from Retail Gazette


The Big 4 grocer used Black History Month to announce that it would review its ethnic pay gap to ensure that its Black colleagues “have a fair and enjoyable experience working at Sainsbury’s”.

The retailer also stated it would provide Black colleagues with a safe space to gather in response to the ongoing Black Lives Matters movement.

“At Sainsbury’s we want to celebrate black heritage with our colleagues and customers,” a company statement said.

“We recognise and embrace the contributions black people have made in the UK, both past and present, and acknowledge the black history is UK history.

“To be the most inclusive retailer; where every single one of our colleagues feels safe and supported at work. We’re actively pushing for change for black people in the UK.”

2. Nike

Nike has released its Black History Month 2020 collection online, adapting some of its shoes to representing African roots and textiles as well as featuring a “BHM” logo on each pair.

Alongside the collection, Nike announced it would help “kids reach their greatest potential by creating an equal playing field through community investment”.

The retailer is recognising 20 non-profits in the US that offer play and sport programs, support education and career development, with a total of USD 500000 in grants.

3. John Lewis Partnership

Earlier this week the John Lewis Partnership revealed it would be launching a Black partner advisory group to review the inclusivity of fashion amid Black History Month.

The parent company of John Lewis and Waitrose announced a series of actions aimed at building a more inclusive company, including working with partners from under-represented groups to create a new diversity and inclusion strategy.

The John Lewis Partnership has already launched a Kindness Rules statement across its shops to state that there would be zero tolerance to discrimination or racism.

4. Post Office

Post Office has announced its next steps in its diversity agenda, embedding principles as it celebrates Black History Month this year.

The high street chain created a series of actions it will take to make the Post Office a better place to work for Black, ethnic minority and all colleagues.

This included gathering and monitoring data about ethnic diversity to measure the success of diversity initiatives and setting diversity targets, objectives and KPIs for the senior leadership team.

It also included raising awareness of BAME issues in the business through training, discussions and by celebrating its diverse workforce while continuing to improve the recruitment processes by identifying and eliminating unconscious bias.

5. Gap

In support of Black History Month, Gap has teamed up with four upcoming Black artists to release a new collection of t-shirts.

Featuring creatives from across the globe, including Birmingham native Lo Williams, each design represents what Black history means to them from their life experiences.

In addition to the collection, Gap UK is donating GBP 10000 to the CNBA Foundation, a charity providing opportunities and mentoring in media and arts to people in Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

Gap customers will also be able to support The Reach Out Project through till point donations.

Founded by Lillian and Michaela, The Reach Out Project helps combat the lack of social, cultural and enriching opportunities afforded to young people living in inner-city London.