America’s population is becoming increasingly more diverse and beauty brands are finally realizing that people of color need products too and –gasp– they spend actual money on these products. L’Oreal is trying to establish a firm grasp on the fast-growing sector and is gearing up a new Multicultural Beauty division, which includes SoftSheen-Carson and the recently-acquired Carol’s Daughter.
“Multicultural consumers may only be 39 percent of the total population now, but in 12 out of the 20 top cities, multicultural consumers are the majority and are representing 27 percent of the beauty spend,” L’Oreal manager of Multicultural Beauty Nicole Fourgoux said. But with this growing market, it’s important to be strategic and really pay attention to their needs – and make those products accessible for the population.
Another big part of appealing to the multicultural set is in part not segregating them from the mainstream. A lot of stores have “ethnic” care aisles, but there are multiple issues that shoppers face that go beyond ethnicity. To relegate everything into a few shelves marked ethnic ghettoizes the consumer and, most importantly, doesn’t address their diverse needs. “Consumers seek solutions to hair conditions such as thinning or wavy,” Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price explained to WWD, emphasizing that companies need to look beyond race and focus on the particular needs and concerns of the shopper of color if they’re going to make progress.
L’Oreal is headed to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual Meeting (which starts today) to discuss how stores can take advantage of this market without turning off ethnic consumers. Hopefully, their insight will help make drugstores increasingly more shoppable for the multicultural customer.