Retailers shine a spotlight on Black-owned beauty brands – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-06-08 01:29:00 –

New York >> When Rose Ingleton launched a skincare line bearing her name two years ago, she was unable to enter the big chain and used her money to get financial help from family and friends. I was forced to receive it.

But things have changed since last year’s national Black Lives Matter protest. With over 20 years of experience as a Manhattan-based black dermatologist, Ingleton reconnects with cosmetology chain Sephora and her products can be found on this retailer’s website, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. It came to be.

“I noticed this suddenly,” said Ingleton. “I’m at the top of the food chain right now. I’m now preparing to approach deeper pocket investors.”

As companies continue to face racism, the beauty industry is trying to address the criticism that many of its products are white-centric, trying to bring products that better represent a diverse range of women to the shelves. Yes.

Retailers from Sephora to Wal-Mart to Target are focusing on increasing the offering of black-owned brands in all categories as an important strategy to combat racial prejudice. They are also developing entrepreneurship programs and trying to create a new talent pipeline.

More than 20 companies, including Sephora and more recently Ulta Beauty, have signed a national campaign called 15% Pledge. With the black population of the United States.

Many haven’t signed it yet, but others are paving the way for their own. For example, Target said it would launch a black-owned beauty brand and 50 black-owned beauty brands as part of a broader effort to add more than 500 black-owned brands by the end of 2025.

Retailers cannot ignore this profitable segment.

Last year, Hispanic consumers spent 6.1% more on beauty and other items and 5.4% more on blacks than in 2019, according to NielsenIQ. The pace has exceeded a 3.5% increase in the total population of the United States.

And NPD Group Inc. found that black-owned brands accounted for only 4% of high-end cosmetics sales, starting at 1.5 in May, June and July 2020. It performed four times better, declining than the rest of the market and reflecting the consumer’s desire to support such businesses.

Still, overall progress is slow. Alta wants to double the number of black-owned brands to 26 by the end of the year, but that’s only 5% penetration, said Monica Arnaud, the company’s chief merchandising officer. Ulta and Sephora say they want to ensure that the brand is financially successful.

Black entrepreneurs also claim that retailers and investors who think their products are exclusively for women of color are now obsessed with their products. Beauty brands targeting women of the species continue to be trapped in stores in some cases, even after many stores such as Walmart, CVS Health, and Walgreens promised to stop that practice last year.

Taydra Mitchell Jackson is the marketing director of The Lip Bar, a black-owned brand based in Detroit, Michigan, and currently has more than 1,200 stores, including Target and Walmart. She says retailers need to be careful not to think of adding merchandise from a black owner as just a symbolic gesture.

“Merchandising is important, but the message and the mood when walking in the store are just as important,” Jackson said.

She pointed out that some social media influencers were dissatisfied with the fact that Lipbar’s products were trapped in Wal-Mart and “created an inferiority complex.” The brand is following the company.

Wal-Mart says, “We do not tolerate any kind of discrimination in Wal-Mart. We serve every demographically millions of customers each week, while offering the best shopping experience at each store. , Focusing on meeting their needs. “

The problems faced by black-owned brands are not new.

Beauty brands for black women have been around for years, but struggling to secure shelf space in stores, said Rutgers University’s associate professor of history, Beauty Shop Politics: African American. Women’s Activism in the beauty industry. “

“Beauty illusions have often been built around honoring the white body,” says Gil. “And putting on makeup for darker-skinned women and visibly incorporating them into campaigns means completely undermining the entire foundation of the industry.”

Even if the brand creates dark flesh-colored makeup, those products are sold online rather than in stores.

“As a black consumer, we often don’t have the opportunity to have an in-store retail experience,” Gil said.

Things began to change in 2017 when pop superstar Rihanna launched the Fenty Beauty make-up line. According to market research firm Euromonitor, it has become one of the top 10 beauty brands by sales in two years, alongside decades-old brands such as Mary Kay and L’Oréal’s Urban Decay. The company noticed this by adding more shades for darker skin and promising to give more shelving space to the black-owned brands in the store.

Still, it wasn’t until last summer’s Black Lives Matter protest that black-owned brands began to get more attention from investors and retailers.

As of mid-2020, a survey by a resource called digitalundivided identified 183 black and Hispanic female founders. These founders are backed by more than double the $ 1 million investor in 2018. We have a database of companies founded by over 800 black and Hispanic women.

However, it was also found to be less than half of the 1% of venture capital investment these women received. The database failure rate is 27%, which is lower than the national failure rate of 40% for startups founded in 2017.

Monique Rodriguez, a black entrepreneur who co-founded the natural hair care company Mielle Organics, realized that last year’s sales increased rapidly year-on-year. And this year, she secured a large investment from Boston-based private equity firm Berkshire Partners.

“I don’t think it will disappear,” she said of her efforts to diversify her beauty. “I’m here, but I have to work hard to keep our voice heard. . “

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