Ethnic personal care on the rise: Walker & Co $24 million funding

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Ethnic personal care on the rise: Walker & Co $24 million funding
In the US, ethnic or multicultural consumers will soon become the majority, according to market researcher Kline, with people of color already accounting for over one-third of the US population.

In further confirmation of the rising ethnic beauty sector, US cosmetics company Walker & Co, which has been dubbed ‘the black Procter & Gamble’​, has raised $24m in Series B funding.

Walker & Co is one new company geared solely towards this rising consumer base: “Walker & Co exists really for one reason, and that’s to make health and beauty simple for people of colour​,” Tristan Walker, founder and CEO, has stated.

Widespread retail

The company’s flagship brand, Bevel, is ‘the first and only’ end-to-end shaving system for men with coarse and curly hair, according to the company, sitting alongside various products developed and retailed by the company which cater to a multicultural consumer base.

We’re only going to design, develop and test products and services uniquely tailored for our community’s needs​,” Walker has stated.

The company is making moves to position itself as a category leader: alongside the funding announcement came the news that its products are now set to be retailed across the country and online by Target.

“Target understands that our brand offers high-quality, unique products while adhering to the same high standards of customer service to which we subscribe,” ​Walker has said of the move.

A fast-growing category

According to a 2013 Nielsen report, people of color “consistently place a higher emphasis on grooming and beauty categories”​ than other groups, and are likely to spend “nine times more than other groups”.

African Americans have $1tn in buying power, and US Latinos have $1.2tn in buying power, the report observed.

Because of the growing populations of women of color, who often control a large percentage of what the household spends, this is a demographic beauty companies have to pay attention to​,” Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, a senior vice president at Nielsen, told the Times.

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