The effort to diversify the beauty industry is an ongoing one. Today, the largest retailer in the space announced several initiatives: Ulta Beauty is increasing its dedication to diversity and inclusivity by doubling the number of Black-owned brands on its shelves, and it's launching a new platform called MUSE that's dedicated to empowering Black voices in the industry.
Ulta has also appointed actor and founder of Pattern Beauty Tracee Ellis Ross as its diversity and inclusion advisor, where she'll offer counsel and help the retailer achieve measurable goals that reflect the store's mission. The star will focus on BIPOC brand development and join internal D&I council summits to review progress.
The actionable steps don't stop there. The store has also pledged to spend approximately $20 million on media investments across multi-cultural platforms to create more personal connections with LatinX, Black, and other communities. “As the country’s beauty retail leader, we believe we have the power to shape how the world sees beauty and as such, we have a responsibility to inspire positive change and drive greater diversity, inclusivity, and equity," Ulta CEO Mary Dillon said in a press release.
By the end of 2021, shoppers can expect to see an influx of Black-owned brands on Ulta shelves, including the recent additions of Mented Cosmetics, Keys Soulcare, and Black Girl Sunscreen. In addition to this, Ulta will dedicate more than $4 million to marketing support of these brands within the company’s offerings in order to "fuel brand awareness and sustain growth," the company said in a press release.
All these initiatives are anchored by a move to center Black voices in the beauty industry through Ulta's new platform MUSE, which stands for "Magnify, Uplift, Support, and Empower." The campaign shines a light on influential Black women who are breaking barriers in beauty, including Cosmopolitan's beauty director Julee Wilson, Melanin Haircare founder Whitney White, and Carol's Daughter founder Lisa Price, and will be featured across media outlets like Good Morning America and The Today Show.
All of these commitments will impact the retail experience. Not only will shoppers have a wider and more diverse variety of beauty products to choose from, but Ulta will continue to foster a more welcoming in-store experience by doubling diversity and inclusion training across the enterprise. It's also establishing a Diverse Leadership Program to empower employees through mentorship.
“Authenticity as an inclusive brand with welcoming experiences for all and an approachable assortment are tenets of how we champion diversity at Ulta Beauty," Dillion said in a statement. "We look forward to sharing more as we continue on this journey with steadfast commitment from our teams."