Day: November 24, 2021

Florida businesses prepare for shoppers in-store, online

LAKELAND – Despite online shopping rising in popularity, retailers are gearing up for in-store Black Friday shoppers by beefing up staff and adding merchandise. 

An increase of consumers is expected, as 64% of shoppers plan to take advantage of in-store Black Friday deals, a 13% increase over last year, according to the Florida Retail Federation. 

“Our merchants are well-prepared,” Lakeland Square Mall Associate General Manager Ryan Conlon said. “While most sell online as they are large companies, we also have many small local businesses that deal exclusively from their respective stores.” 

The mall will operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Black Friday and is decorated for the holiday season. Santa will also be on hand meeting with shoppers of all ages.  

The mall is also hosting multiple seasonal tenants to add variety to the lineup of year-round merchants, Conlon said. They will offer a range of products from

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Hanifa founder Anifa Mvuemba has embraced her Congolese heritage on her own terms

Written by Skylar Mitchell, CNNWashington, DC

In September, when the New York fashion scene converged for the city’s full return to live runway shows since the Covid-19 pandemic, one highly-anticipated brand was visibly absent from the runway. Months after being awarded a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund grant for emerging designers, Anifa Mvuemba, founder of women’s apparel label Hanifa, opted out of the Manhattan bustle with a simple message to its patrons: “stay tuned.”

Mvuemba has made a name for herself leading an independent Black brand committed to featuring primarily Black and Brown models, and offering inclusive sizing from 0 to 20. Hanifa, which is primarily e-commerce-based, has been worn by celebrities including Beyoncé, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Issa Rae.

On November 16, the brand finally held its first in-person show at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC in the glass-ceilinged Kogod Courtyard. The Fall-Winter 2021 “Hanifa Dream” presentation celebrated

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