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Ulta Beauty CEO says it’s not enough to put Black-owned brands on shelves


Ulta BeautyChief Executive Officer Dave Kimbell stated that it was not sufficient for retailers to stock Black-owned brands.

He stated that the retailer is trying to build a loyal following for those brands and ensure they have staying power.

He stated, “It is one thing to get on our shelves. It’s yet another thing to prosper.” “And that’s what we want, every brand that we carry — and certainly BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and People of Color]Established brands

Ulta announced Thursday that it will spend $50 million this year on diversity and inclusive initiatives, as well as investments to support emerging brands. Ulta plans to create an accelerator program for entrepreneurs of color and invest $5 million into a venture capital fund to support their companies in their early stages. It will also leverage marketing to help their products reach more customers. This includes $3.5 million for in-store merchandise, including displays that catch shoppers’ eyes.

A total of $25 million will be spent annually on company advertisements, social media campaigns and similar investments in reaching beauty customers from diverse backgrounds. Ulta intends to invest an additional $8.5million in advertising and marketing for Black-owned or led brands.

Ulta, one of many retailers with this designation, is stepped up efforts to better reflect the country’s diversityWith the product’s success, it was able to recruit and promote employees and featured models in its advertising campaigns. Sephora is its rival, and it’s one of 28 signatories. the Fifteen Percent PledgeInitiative aimed at making Black-owned products available in stores proportional to the nation’s Black population. The same nonprofit organization oversees it.

However, retailers are still trying to attract more Black-founded businesses to their shelves. These companies often have little capital or name recognition.

LaToya Williams Belfort, the executive director of Fifteen Percent Pledge said support for founders is crucial in helping retailers expand their stock of Black-owned brands. According to her, the non-profit stresses that it is important not to flood shelves with products, but ensure start-ups have solid foundations as they grow. This includes accessing marketing money.

If retailers give founders a shot — but without any other resources and tools — she said they set up companies for failure and “seed and create a narrative that says ‘Black businesses can’t be successful.'”

She stated that Black entrepreneurs and products won’t succeed, while Black businesses don’t make a profit. Now, it’s easy to revert back to old ideologies, systems, and biases. But you use this presumption of proof, which was not done in the correct way.

Ulta ist building on its previous diversity investments. In fact, last year the retailer more that doubled the amount of Black-owned brands they carry from just 13 to 28. According to the company, it’s about halfway towards achieving its 15% goal on shelves.

Some retailers also support emerging brands. Sephora, TargetAnd Amazonare some of the companies that offer accelerator programs to support early-stage entrepreneurs who are entrepreneurs of color.

Ulta Kimbell, Ulta’s Kimbell, stated that adding newer brands by Black founders to the store is helping it win more customers and strengthen shopper loyalty.

He said, “These programs don’t belong on the side. They are a part of our strategy.” “This is the key to our success.”

He said companies must acknowledge and tackle the unique barriers Black founders face — including a long history of getting less venture capital. According to him, the retailer’s merchandise team collaborates closely with founders in order to find roadblocks.

Ron Robinson is the founder and CEO of BeautyStat. It debuted this week at Ulta’s shops and online. He has personally experienced growing pains. The brand includes a Vitamin C-serum. Macy’sBluemercury, Neiman Markus and other pre-owned businesses Nordstrom.

Robinson worked as a cosmetics scientist for well-respected beauty brands such Clinique before founding the company. Estee Lauder. Retailers can help the Black-owned brands emerge today and become tomorrow’s big-hitters, he said.

He said that even small actions by retailers can make all the difference. Samples can be placed in shoppers’ bags. To overcome supply chain problems, expedite shipments. Instead of waiting for cash to come in, pay quickly for your products.

According to him, BeautyStat received a boost in sales from its retail partners: The company saw an almost immediate increase in sales when Bluemercury included one of their products within a targeted email sent to customers.

According to him, he would like more retailers to “be part of the brand building process.”

He said, “It is a win-win scenario.” Strong brands are essential for retailers to be able to sell their products. This is where I see real magic.