Walmart US expands beauty business

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

© Jun / Getty Images
© Jun / Getty Images

Related tags: Walmart

The US arm of retail giant Walmart is setting its sights on the cosmetics space as it strives to become a leading beauty destination.

Over the past year, Walmart has continued with its plans to transform itself into a top beauty destination. Talking to CosmeticsDesign-USA, the retail chain’s Senior Merchandising Director for Beauty, Paula Ryan, explained it has grown its beauty business, “by expanding our assortment to offer the wow-worthy and surprising beauty and personal care products and brands our customers are looking for”​.

Walmart has recently launched more than 40 new brands in the category and is working to further enhance its footprint in the indie beauty market, said Ryan. “[We’re] excited about the direction we’re heading,” ​he said.

Meeting Walmart shoppers’ beauty product and brand demands

“Our strategy has been to increase accessibility to innovative, high-quality and on-trend products at prices Walmart customers expect,”​ said Ryan, detailing how the household name has grown its presence in the beauty market.

As it moves forward with its ongoing beauty strategy, the high-street giant aims to deliver these beauty products through a balanced collection of heritage and indie brands.

“We know many of our customers trust heritage products and we look forward to continuing to offer those brands and evolve with them,” ​said Ryan. “And with indie brands, we’re able to tap into newer trends before they peak in interest.”

“We have worked to prioritize high-quality, inclusive products that are accessible to all people at an incredible value,” ​she said. In its efforts to resonate with its diverse consumer base, Walmart has broadened its beauty selection by bringing in a number of products and brands. In doing so, Walmart hopes “to ensure everyone can find products that help them feel their best.”

Brands include UOMA by Sharon C., which offers more than 30 shades of foundation, Kim Kimble’s hair care line designed for wavy, curly and kinky hair, and a growing assortment of products from Mindy McKnight’s Hairitage collection for every hair type. These efforts also include collaboration with founders and entrepreneurs of Black-owned and indie brands.

Launching its Black-Owned Beauty Collection and supporting BIPOC communities

“Our customers reflect the broad diversity of this country, as do our associates, and as does our beauty team,” ​said Ryan. “We have and will continue to expand our selection of products that both serve and are owned by our Black and minority communities.”

Walmart has recently launched a Black-Owned Beauty Collection page online​ where it details it is expanding its Black-owned products and communicating founders’ stories. On its website, Walmart notes: “We stand with the Black entrepreneurs whose innovative products reflect & amplify the beauty of diversity.”

Showcasing beauty across multiple platforms

From a product standpoint, Walmart recognizes that its customers are looking for innovation, quality, and trending products. Today’s beauty consumers want convenient access to these products and value beauty sellers’ omnichannel approaches.

As a brand, Walmart continues to grow its platforms through multiple channels, including in-store, online and pick up. In doing so, Walmart wants “to meet the customer, wherever and however they like to shop for beauty”​, said Ryan.

Part of Walmart’s beauty strategy is to further increase its social media presence and build more connections. “Our recent live-stream Spring Shop Along TikTok Beauty event demonstrates the innovation we are pursuing on our social media channels,”​ explained Ryan. During the 60-minute interactive tutorial, the US retail chain enabled viewers to choose and shop from a variety of national, private and Black-owned beauty brands.  

“We are always listening to customer feedback to ensure we are delivering affordable products that fill gaps for our customers,” ​says Walmart. “We want to make sure we offer them an experience that’s inspirational, convenient and easy to shop,” ​added Ryan.

With its consumer reach and its focus on the convenience of its pickup and ship-to-home solutions, Ryan stated: “We are uniquely positioned to make beauty more accessible to all our customers.”

Aligning with wider beauty strategy

A key component of Walmart’s approach is listening to customer feedback to ensure it is delivering on-trend products and services, at affordable price points. Recently, Walmart has welcomed several beauty brands including UOMA by Sharon C., Bubble and C’est Moi as a reflection of what it understands its shoppers want to see from the retail chain.

“Overall, our customers are responding with enthusiasm and we are working hard to continue to trend spot and create experiences that are inspirational, convenient and easy to shop online or in-store,”​ said Ryan.

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