Ethnic HBC Attracts Interest

Jun 10, 2002

Attracted to the $5.1 billion ethnic personal-care industry, mainstream beauty
companies around the world are buying existing black-owned firms and brands
to bolster their presence among black consumers, reports the Chicago Tribune.
According to Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Segmented Marketing Services, which provides
consulting for companies trying to tap into the ethnic market, $1.6 billion
of the ethnic personal-care market is in retail, the rest in professional products
and services.

However, just as the competition has increased, more black women are rebelling against a strict regimen, and the associated expense. That has made competition for black hair-care dollars all the more intense in a market that has experienced declining sales in recent years.

Interest by multinationals in the ethnic personal-care market is relatively new. For decades, large personal-care companies left the ethnic market to black-owned companies. A few brands created by white-owned firms, like Dark & Lovely and African Pride, have done well. But the leading white-owned companies generally enter the market through acquisitions rather than developing their own lines.

Moderator Comment: Are African-Americans under served
as a demographic group by CPG manufacturers and retailers?
Anderson – Moderator

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