Woman applying face cream. Image by Sora Shimazaki, courtesy of Pexels

How Retailers Can Drive Equity and Representation in Beauty

The beauty industry has traditionally been dominated by a narrow representation of beauty standards, which has historically excluded both Black consumers and entrepreneurs. However, there has been a growing movement towards better equity and representation in the industry, which has gained significant momentum in recent years.

McKinsey’s research on Black representation in the beauty industry reveals that black consumers are a growing and lucrative market segment. In fact, Black women spend 80% more on cosmetics and skincare products than any other ethnic group. Despite this, Black representation in the industry has been historically limited, with only 1.5% of beauty brands owned by Black entrepreneurs. Furthermore, representation in the industry’s leadership positions remains low, with only 4% of beauty executives being Black.

The need to grow equity and increase representation in the beauty industry is clear, and beauty retailers are positioned to help bring about this change by embracing the new frontier of minority-owned beauty brands and entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. They will not only tap into a growing and lucrative market segment, but will also help to promote greater diversity and inclusion in the industry as a whole.

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Invest in diverse beauty

One of the most important is to increase the number of entrepreneurs of color in the industry. This can be achieved by providing greater access to capital, mentoring and networking opportunities, and other forms of support to help Black entrepreneurs establish and grow their businesses. Additionally, companies can partner with Black-owned beauty brands to help them reach a wider audience, and to provide them with the resources and expertise needed to scale their operations.

Retailers can increase their focus on stocking cosmetic, skincare and hair care products that are specifically designed for Black or Latinx consumers. This can be achieved by investing in research and development to better understand the unique needs and preferences of people of color, and by partnering with influencers and thought leaders to help promote these products to a wider audience. Additionally, companies can work to eliminate bias in their marketing and advertising campaigns, and promote a more inclusive definition of beauty.

Meet customer demand

Consumers today are more diverse than ever before, and they want to see products that reflect their unique needs and preferences – as successful brands such as Fenty Beauty and Ami Colé have proven. By stocking products from diverse and minority-owned beauty brands, retailers can better serve their customers and meet their demand for more inclusive and representative product offerings, whether it’s the perfect foundation match or sunscreen that does not leave a white cast on the melanated skin.

By stocking products from beauty brands founded by people of color, retailers can also attract new customers who may not have previously shopped with them. These customers are often loyal to brands that align with their values, and they are more likely to shop with retailers that prioritize diversity and inclusion, which is an increasing sentiment among American shoppers.

Promote economic equity

By supporting beauty brands founded by people of color for customers of color, retailers can help to promote economic equity and support the growth of underrepresented groups such as Black, Latinx and Asian communities. The financial gain from wholesale retail orders can have a positive impact on the broader economy and help to create a more equitable and just society across all levels of the supply chain, from farmers and growers to chemists and warehouse staff.

Retailers that stock products from diverse and minority-owned brands can improve their positioning and enhance their image as socially responsible and inclusive organizations. This can help to differentiate them from their competitors and build customer loyalty in the long term.

Better serving a wide range of consumers and supporting diverse beauty brands will lead to greater equity across the entire beauty industry: for shoppers, entrepreneurs, large beauty houses, investors, and retailers.

Discover and shop beauty products wholesale here

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