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6.15.20   10:00 AM Innovation - Retail

Sephora signs '15 Percent Pledge' to stock more Black-owned brands, but currently carries only seven

The beauty retailer carries over 290 beauty brands, seven of which are Black-owned businesses. And according to our data, inventory growth for the seven brands has been minimal.

All month, protests against racism and police brutality have been held around the world following the brutal killing of George Floyd. People are encouraged to reflect on their inherent privilege or lack thereof, and how they’ve played a part in systemic racism. Many brands and corporations are following in suit and attempting to rectify tone-deaf or racist company behavior.

Fashion designer Aurora James recently launched the “15 Percent Pledge” campaign, challenging retailers to stock more Black-owned brands. James’ petition reasons that since Black people make up 15% of the US population, Black businesses should make up 15% of major retailers’ supply chain.

Sephora ($EPA:MC) was the first company to sign the pledge last week. The beauty retailer will dedicate at least 15% of shelf space to Black-owned brands. As of now, there is no known timeline for this change. Currently, Sephora stocks over 290 beauty brands and only seven of them are Black-owned: Fenty Beauty, Pat McGrath Labs, Briogeo, Adwoa Beauty, Golde, KNC Beauty, and Shani Darden Skin Care. 

According to our data, inventory growth for the seven brands has been slow. KNC Beauty and Golde have remained at four products each since last year. Shani Darden and Adwoa each have six products. Natural hair care company Briogeo’s product count at Sephora has dropped by 23% since October.

Meanwhile, the retailer has consistently added new products from cult favorite Pat McGrath and the Rihanna-owned Fenty Beauty. Since last year, inventory has increased by 39% and 49%, respectively.

“We were inspired to make the 15% Pledge because we believe it’s the right thing to do, for our clients, our industry and for our community. Ultimately, this commitment is about more than the prestige products on our shelves, it starts with a long-term plan diversifying our supply chain and building a system that creates a better platform for Black-owned brands to grow, while ensuring Black voices help shape our industry," Sephora’s EVP and chief merchandising officer Artemis Patrick said in a statement.

Hopefully Sephora is acting for good will rather than good optics. It will be interesting to see if Sephora continues to support smaller Black-owned beauty brands as the company takes steps to make the 15% Pledge.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.

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