Ulta Beauty is looking to advance its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in 2022.
The beauty retailer shared the next steps it would take in assuring these next steps, which include a focus on brand amplification, assortment growth and equitable guest and associate experiences.
In 2022, Ulta Beauty also will take on new initiatives to bolster efforts and continue its purposeful work in the beauty and retail industries by spanning its efforts across four categories totaling a planned investment of $50 million, the Bolingbrook, Ill.-based retailer said.
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“As a values-driven company, we believe we have a responsibility to drive diversity, equity and inclusion in our company, industry and world,” said Dave Kimbell, chief executive officer at Ulta Beauty. “Looking back at 2021, I’m proud of the work we did to meaningfully grow our assortment, elevate and celebrate underrepresented voices, invest in our associates and create equitable experiences. Our forward-looking 2022 DE&I commitments ensure that we remain energized, creative and extremely dedicated to leading in this critical space.”
To kick off these new efforts, the first pillar the retailer will focus on is a commitment to amplify underrepresented voices. This includes a $25 million investment in media with multicultural platforms to help nurture personal connections with Latine, Black and other multicultural beauty enthusiasts.
Approximately 10% of this investment will be spent directly with Black and Latine owned media outlets, and the retailer’s previously launched Muse platform will feature programming that magnifies, uplifts and empowers Black voices in beauty.
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The second pillar is a commitment to curating and nurturing a diverse assortment. In 2022, the retailer plans to build upon its work to help diverse leaders, founders and entrepreneurs thrive in the beauty industry.
To do this, Ulta Beauty plans on launching a Brand Partner Accelerator program that focuses on early-stage BIPOC beauty brands. The retailer will provide time, resources and mentorship to educate, inspire and support accelerator participants with brand development for retail readiness.
In addition, a $5 million investment will be made in New Voices, a venture capital firm, and $3.5 million be allocated to in-store merchandising to help customers more readily find the Black-owned, Black-founded and Black-led brands within its assortment.
“After formally working together for a year, I’m hopeful that Ulta Beauty’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion has been a catalyst for other organizations to examine how they plan for and create foundational change,” said Tracee Ellis Ross, Ulta Beauty’s DE&I advisor. “Ensuring employees can thrive and that customers are seen, heard and celebrated remains a clear business objective. The Ulta Beauty team brings passion and accountability to this necessary work and I am proudly committed to supporting this team.”
The third pillar is a commitment to guest experiences. This includes a $2 million donation made the Ulta Beauty Charitable Foundation to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ focuses nonprofits with volunteering and educational opportunities for associates.
For the second year in a row, the retailer also will reinforce inclusivity and unconscious bias for employees with mandatory training. There also will be education training to teach salon associates about textured hair and shade matching.
Lastly, the retailer will work on a commitment to associate experiences. This includes expanding the number of associates in its Diverse Leaders Development Program, investing in efforts to support its diverse slate of recruitment efforts, and internal programming that acknowledges and celebrates lived experiences.
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“Since announcing our 2021 commitments, we have made significant strides to amplify our DE&I efforts, internally and externally – and we know the work is far from complete,” said Kimbell. “The beauty category is emotional, personal and deeply connected. Our dedication to this work ensures those attributes remain at the heart of the beauty community, giving way to welcoming, equal experiences for every Ulta Beauty associate, guest and partner.”