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