NEW YORK (AP) — Cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty said Tuesday that it’s investing more than $25 million this year to improve diversity of its product mix and inclusion in its business practices.
The plan includes doubling the number of beauty products from Black-owned brands by the end of the year, though it declined to say the number. It will also introduce quarterly, in-store training for all store and salon workers in March to reinforce inclusivity and address unconscious bias.
The Bolingbrook, Illinois-based chain also says Tracee Ellis Ross, CEO and founder of haircare brand Pattern Beauty, will become the company’s diversity and inclusion advisor.
Ulta Beauty’s announcement comes about two weeks after beauty-products retailer Sephora said it will bolster the number of Black-owned brands it sells, scale back on third-party security guards and offer more inclusive marketing as part of a plan to combat racial bias at its stores.
Sephora revealed its plan as it released findings of a study it commissioned that took an in-depth look at racial bias in the U.S. retail shopping experience.
The issue of inclusion has taken on more importance for companies in the wake of nationwide protests over police brutality last summer after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Ulta’s CEO Mary Dillon told The Associated Press that the chain has focused for several years on bringing on Black-owned brands and embracing other measures to cater to shoppers of color. But its efforts were more amplified after the Floyd killing, she said.
Ulta has “a responsibility to inspire positive change and drive greater diversity, inclusivity and equity,” Dillon said in statement.
Follow Anne D’Innocenzio: http://twitter.com/ADInnocenzio