Sharon Chuter, founder of Uoma Beauty and the Pull Up for Change campaign, is adding another brand to her list of projects.
Called Uoma by Sharon C., the brand will launch on its own website and at Walmart on June 18. It spans skin care and color cosmetics. Prices range from $6 to $24, and industry sources expect the brand to reach $40 million in retail sales for its first year on the market.
The six debut stock keeping units include the Go Awf! 2 In 1 Water-Activated Cleansing Wipes, Go Awf! Au Natural Cleansing Oil, Supa’Natural Glow Vitamin C Serum, It’s Complicated Glossy Lip Tint & Oil, Flawless IRL Foundation and Badder Boom Volumizing Mascara.
Chuter called the line “radically inclusive,” but not just because of the 30 shades her foundation is available in.
“My brand is currently hailed as inclusive, but anyone who knows me knows I’m gonna call even my own bulls–t,” Chuter said. “The truth is, inclusivity goes beyond skin color, and even though the bar is so low in this industry, no beauty brand comes in every color, every lifestyle or any budget. I had one mission, I said I want to make this industry less exclusive. I really wanted to create a space where everybody could actually feel welcome.”
To that end, Walmart was ideal for Chuter, and the company initially reached out to her last year over Instagram to see how they could partner in the future. “They service 90 percent of America. Everybody goes there, it’s extremely democratic, and people go there for many different reasons. Wide distribution was important to me, so when they came to the table with 3,365 stores, I knew it was going into a place that wouldn’t cut people out,” she said.
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On Walmart’s side, bringing on Uoma by Sharon C. is emblematic of how the retailer is rethinking its brand matrix.
“It’s one of the biggest launches we’re doing in Walmart history,” said Musab Balbale, vice president of beauty at Walmart Inc. “The launch represents the direction we’re headed in, bringing more energy into the category, focusing on values that we care about, such as the environment, cleanliness of the products and the diversity of our brand base and of the consumers we want to represent.”
Balbale said the brand was another play at Gen Z consumers, who are coming to Walmart in increasing numbers. “We’re seeing younger customers come back into our stores in a way that is refreshing,” he said. “The brand is Gen Z-inspired, and it’s a really inclusive brand that speaks to multiple audiences. The focus is on a brand that is clean in its formulation and sustainable in its packaging. We think it’ll be particularly resonant with the younger consumer who’s coming to Walmart stores at an increasing pace.”
Balbale added that in a post-coronavirus landscape, themes like sustainability were paramount to capturing more consumers. “Sharon talks a lot about this. We’ve become more aware of our responsibility toward the environment, we’ve become more aware of our responsibility toward our bodies,” Balbale said. “There is acceleration and focus on clean ingredients and sustainable products.”
Sustainability has also been a guiding force for Chuter — the makeup wipes are biodegradable, and the cleansing oil packaging is made of recycled plastic — and she eliminated unit cartons and testers for product. Instead, every product will have a scannable QR code for consumers to try on formulas virtually. “I eliminated waste and put all of the information in the QR codes,” Chuter said. “We’ve integrated technology in crazy ways. It’s a more new-generational way to shop.”
Even as prestige beauty is democratizing its distribution, such as through Sephora’s partnership with Kohl’s Corp. or Ulta Beauty’s partnership with Target Corp., Balbale said purpose-driven brands at mass price points are beating expectations. “We’re seeing brands that have a really crisp point of view on their formulations, and on the customer they’re speaking to, do really well in a way that far outperforms whatever the size of the brand’s marketing budget might suggest,” he said.
For more from WWD.com, see:
Uoma Beauty Founder Sharon Chuter Discusses the Personal Message Behind Her ‘Coming 2 America’ Makeup Line
Walmart Leverages Tech, Proximity to Shoppers to Boost Ad Business
How Walmart Is ‘Raising Supplier Ambition’ for Climate Action
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