Beauty brands, especially BIPOC-founded brands, are enthusiastic about the new JCPenney Beauty. The retailer announced last Thursday more of the details of its new strategy and brand assortment that doubles down on brands for a diverse audience. Those familiar with JCPenney’s efforts said diversity is mission critical.
JCPenney’s move comes on the heels of the opening of two powerful beauty retail partnerships—Sephora and Kohl’s, and Target and Ulta Beauty. Both Sephora and Ulta Beauty have put extra muscle behind adding brands for diverse shoppers. Ulta Beauty has its MUSE Program—Magnify, Uplift, Support, and Empower Black voices in beauty, and Sephora will have more than doubled its representation of Black-owned brands by the end of 2021—among other efforts.
Some say JCPenney goes even deeper is the recruitment of emerging brands (some who have no physical distribution) that will get a chance to play on a big stage. To assist in curating brands, JCPenney teamed up with Thirteen Lune and Landing International, both experts in up-and-coming BIPOC-owned businesses.
“The concept they are launching is hyper inclusive in all categories and reflects many minority female owned brands. The program we are creating was founded by individuals who look like the JCPenney consumer,” said Sarah Chung, Chief Executive Officer of Landing International, a B2B marketplace and retail technology platform.
Evonna Kuehner, founder of ANOVÉ, a skincare brand for all skin tones that is part of the Thirteen Lune roster, hammers home the importance of gaining recognition from a national retailer. “As a small, Black-owned business, the fact that we have the opportunity to launch with JCPenney and Thirteen Lune is thrilling because the focus on inclusivity is directly tied to our brand values. With this launch, it is my hope that ANOVÉ can reach more people who may be at the beginning of their journey in terms of establishing a beauty routine. For those who already have an established routine, I hope ANOVÉ encourages them to make more value-based purchases,” she told BeautyMatter.
In a statement, Michelle Wlazlo, Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer for JCPenney Beauty said the new concept grew out of direct feedback from customers. “Together with our brand partners, we have reimagined every aspect of our beauty experience—from the highly curated assortment and welcoming space to the integrated loyalty program and all new e-commerce experience. We are incredibly proud to bring JCPenney Beauty to life in stores and online this fall.”
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