Black hair-care association has found a ‘new style’ for store owners in the industry to prosper
BOBSA is creating a direct link to China to cut costs for Black hair care store owners and businesses
(Beijing-CHINA) – Whether it’s natural or relaxed, the haircare industry amongst US Black consumers has a predominance in spending habits more than any other US consumer group.
In fact, according to a consumer market analysis from Mintel Reports, 51% of Black consumers use styling products compared to 34% of US consumers overall.
Then, it is also no wonder that the sales of the overall Black haircare market in 2015 were an estimated $2.7 billion…and according to Black Owned Beauty Supply Association, (BOBSA) the Black haircare & cosmetic industry nationwide and internationally is a $9 billion industry that serves millions of African-Americans.
So what is the biggest issue with high black consumerism in this market?
Unfortunately the Black haircare industry is predominately controlled by a conglomerate of Korean store owners and suppliers, who are able to drive down prices, collectively buy in bulk and be middlemen, and buy out non-Korean store owners.
BOBSA, who provides African-American businesses and professionals a platform to compete by advocating for Black institutions that depend on beauty supply stores, has helped over the last 13 years open up 150+ stores, but with 10 to 15 percent closing within one year after they have opened due to the monopoly of the Korean store owners in this industry.
BOBSA founder, Sam Ennon, who was invited to China this past October by the Chinese government and their hair manufacturers, has found a way to change all the odds for Black haircare store owners.
“I have just made an agreement with the Chinese government and manufacturers of hair,” said Ennon. “We have created an alliance named
Enterprise of Black Hair Alliance (EBHA) to change the distribution of hair in the U.S.”
Welcomed with banners, balloons, a singing choir, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony by the town’s mayor and the workers of the plant, Ennon and his US BOBSA crew were overwhelmed with the positive responses from the Chinese community during the 10-day visit.
“We got to visit Beijing, Taihe (the hair factory hub), and Shanghai,” explained Ennon. “We experienced the greatest welcome and hospitality on behalf of BOBSA. However, it was not the nice hotels and fancy meals every day that impressed me; it was their determination that really moved me.”
Ennon was given a tour of factories to understand and witness the processing of the wigs and haircare products, also noting some of the challenges his store owners may have.
“I have been told many times by African-American store owners that they buy directly from the factories. After being there, myself, I realize the logistics are not possible, which is a hindrance to the success Black beauty supply stores, and limits competition in this market.”
On the contrary, Ennon also understood the major struggles for the factories.
“I learnt that the factories have their struggles as well, i.e. the wholesalers don’t pay them on time, their workers work so many hours but the profits are so low, etc.”
To bridge the challenges of both cultures in the black haircare industry, Ennon was introduced to a new factory— Anhui Union Hair Arts and Culture Co., Ltd.
“It has just been built and was invested by a few other hair factories; their goal is to use this new company to sell directly to the customers by collaborating with B.O.B.S.A. It was a very exciting moment when I finally saw the 2,000-acre lot and 250,000 square feet building that I realized what a great opportunity this is to finally make black-owned beauty supply stores able to compete with others.”
Ennon is committed to EBHA’s shared effort to create and develop a beauty industry that bridges with the Black community.
“Our vision embraces the belief that our alliance will provide meaningful opportunities for all parties to generate revenues and manifest premium products and brands. Our joint venture will enable the Black community to fully realize the potential opportunities in committing to the creation of industry brands that will bring pride and recognition to everyone involved in this joint venture.”
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