BEAUTY CARE

African immigrants an untapped beauty market

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES —Attention retailers and multicultural beauty brands: The African immigrant consumer market in the United States is a largely untapped consumer segment that yields $50 billion in purchasing power, according to data from the U.S. African Chamber of Commerce.

“There are [more than] 1.4 million Africans living in the United States, and these consumers possess very high educational attainment and incomes. Additionally, this is a segment with a powerful sense of identity and pride in being African,” stated David Morse, president and CEO of New American Dimensions, a firm that provides customized multicultural consumer research.

These consumers maintain connections to their friends and family in their native countries, as well as maintain ties to native traditions, including food, music and entertainment.

The study—conducted among 393 African immigrant adults in California, Minnesota, Washington, D.C., and New York—found that African immigrants tend to be sensible shoppers, and that younger shoppers are prone to buying products recommended by family and friends.

Supermarkets lead the list of stores patronized by African immigrants, according to the study, while discount stores and low-end department stores are the top shopping venues for clothes and accessories.

Those marketers looking to reach this consumer group are wise to turn to social media, as Africans—especially younger Africans—are heavy visitors of online social groups. Most of these consumers have personal computers, as e-mail is used heavily for keeping in touch. Nearly all of the Africans interviewed for the survey owned cell phones.

“This is a growing consumer segment within the multicultural market—one that cannot be overlooked,” stated Martin Mohammed, president of the U.S. African Chamber of Commerce.

The study is by New American Dimensions in conjunction with The African Chamber of Commerce; Bruce Corrie, dean of the College of Business and Organizational Leadership at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn.; The Minneapolis Foundation; and Aguilar Productions.

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P&G hopeful about organic sales growth

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble expects to return to organic sales growth in the second quarter, following two quarters of organic sales declines, the company confirmed during an institutional investor conference in Boston on Thursday.

“We clearly see that we are approaching an inflection point in P&G’s organic sales trends. The innovations we are launching and the investments we are making are having an impact in the market,” stated Jon Moeller, CFO. “In addition, comparisons to prior year results will get easier as we move into the second quarter.”

For the October-December quarter, P&G expects organic sales growth of 1% to 4%. P&G expects to give more details for second quarter sales and earnings per share when it releases first quarter results on Oct. 29.

For the July-September quarter, P&G confirmed expectations for organic sales growth of flat to -3%. Foreign exchange is expected to reduce net sale by about 7% resulting in a drop in net sales of -7% to -10% versus the prior year. It continues to expect all-in earnings per share of 95 cents to $1 for the quarter.

For fiscal year 2010, P&G confirmed previous guidance of organic sales growth of 1% to 3%. It expects net sales to between flat and 3%, versus prior-year levels, which includes foreign exchange impact of flat to -1%.

It now expects fiscal 2010 earnings per share in the range of $3.99 to $4.12 per share. This includes a one-time net increase in earnings of 44 cents per share from the sale of the pharmaceutical business, which will be partially offset by 10 cents to 12 cents per share related to the transaction.

“We acted with urgency to protect the structural economics of our business last year, and we are acting with urgency this year to deliver profitable market share growth,” stated president and CEO Bob McDonald.

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Mary J. Blige to receive ‘Positively Beautiful’ award at HBA Global Expo

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK HBA Global Expo will present nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Mary J. Blige with the first annual “Positively Beautiful” award during the HBA conference held here on Sept. 15.

Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price will present the award to Blige as part of HBA’s Keynote and Kick-Off Presentation.

The 17th Annual HBA Global Expo, which is produced by UBM International Media and attracts beauty and personal care professionals from around the world, will be held Sept. 15 to 17 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

“Mary J. Blige has influenced and inspired millions of people with her music and talent, but it is through FFAWN that will help women find their ‘inner beauty’ and confidence to succeed in this world,” stated Jill Birkett, event director of HBA Global Expo. “We are extremely proud to present Ms. Blige with the first ‘Positively Beautiful’ award and recognize the beauty of her commitment to the empowerment of disadvantaged women.”

The award was established to annually recognize a person who has had a positive and inspiring influence on the lives of the very people who are customers of HBA’s many attendees and exhibitors. Blige, who has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, is the co-creator of The Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN). The mission is to help women gain the confidence and skills necessary to reach their full individual potential.

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