About Us

The Story of Blacks Retail

Blacks, like other small companies, started with a dream and many, many late nights, hammering on keyboards in the basement while our families slept upstairs.

From the very beginning, “Being In The Black” meant always being in style and always being profitable. We wanted to create e a consulting firm that could help fashion retailers and independent merchants thrive.

Fifteen years later, we are still a boutique, family-run firm, but we now have analysts and clients across the country, as well as an ace tech team.

Here is our story.


  • 2005

    Our Founding

    After 25 years of working at a large retail merchandising company as a top consultant, Steve Pruitt decided to go out on his own, bringing new ideas as to how plan inventory with more agility, aligning his clients' financial and growth priorities with their merchandising strategy. Starting with a small team, he began building the foundations of the technology we use today. This was also the year that Blacks' Retail Report was born, offering guidance and trending information.

  • 2010

    Building A Robust Merchanding Platform

    As our client base expanded to include more online and multi-store operations, we realized that our planning capabilities had to grow and adapt as well. More investment went into a merchandising platform that could support different types of customers, while still being highly custimizable to meet diverse needs.

  • 2014

    Our Team Expands

    As the business grew we added more analysts, with specialties in apparel, footwear, and women's fashion. We also continued to consult groups of retailers, looking for shared strategies and data to help grow their part of the market.

  • 2018

    The Blacks Portal Is Born

    Looking to offer clients 24/7 access to their plans and data, we launched a new online reporting tool dubbed the Blacks' Portal. Here clients can see their OTB by class, sales goals, forecasts, trending information and more.

  • 2021

    Leading Clients During Pandemic Recovery

    Following mandatory pandemic-related closures in early 2020, Blacks led all of its clients out of the pandemic, and into recovery without a single store going out of business. Since 2021, sales among our client stores continue to beat records.