Ulta Beauty Joins 15 Percent Pledge

Ulta Beauty, the largest beauty retailer in the U.S., has joined the 15 Percent Pledge.

The pledge, founded by accessories brand Brother Vellies’ Aurora James, mandates that participants give at least 15 percent of their shelf space to Black-owned brands.

“This announcement is huge — and our partnership will have a monumental impact for Black businesses within the beauty industry. As we approach our one-year anniversary, we look forward to building on our momentum, expanding our partnerships and continuing to create opportunities for Black business owners,” James said in a statement.

The pledge is not confined to any one category or market — participants range from Macy’s to Crate and Barrel — although Ulta joins other beauty players Sephora and Bluemercury.

“Creating lasting change and driving equity in the marketplace takes time and actionable focus, and as the country’s beauty retail leader, we have a responsibility to inspire greater change across our industry,” said Monica Arnaudo, chief merchandising officer, Ulta Beauty, in a statement. “We’re proud to join the 15 Percent Pledge to drive equity across retail and look forward to partnering to amplify underrepresented voices in beauty, increase access to and opportunity for Black-owned brands and, of course, grow our ever-evolving assortment to holistically impact change.”

It is not the first time Ulta has vowed to up its assortment of Black-owned brands. In February, the retailer said it would double the number of Black-owned brands on its shelves, and named Tracee Ellis Ross its diversity and inclusion officer.

Change has been afoot at Ulta over the past months. After unveiling its partnership with Target last year, the retailer announced that Dave Kimbell would transition to the role of chief executive officer, effective this month. Last quarter, as reported by WWD, sales at Ulta grew 66 percent.

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