Walmart announces second class of beauty accelerator program - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Monday, April 1, 2024

Walmart announces second class of beauty accelerator program


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Dive Brief:

  • Walmart shared a series of investments in its beauty offering in a company news post on Wednesday. The retailer welcomed the second class of its Walmart Start beauty brand accelerator program, which offers brand founders mentorship, networking, education from a virtual classroom and the potential to launch at Walmart.
  • This year’s Walmart Start class includes: Current State, a skin care brand co-founded by Emily Parr and Majeed Hemmat; LatinUS, a hair care brand by Cesar Jaramillo and Jose Alberto Castro; Kazmaleje, a hair tools and accessories brand founded by sisters LaToya, LaTasha and LaTrice Stirrup; and Sundae Body, a body care line founded by Lizzie Waley.
  • Walmart is also bringing back its Beauty Glow Up savings event. The event, which began in late March and will run through April 28, features hundreds of discounts on beauty items online and in stores. This month, the company also expanded its beauty virtual try-on to include hair color. Over 500 hair color products are available to try on within the Walmart iOS app.

Dive Insight:

Walmart launched its accelerator program in 2022. The first class of brands included perfume brand Dossier, hair care brand Pardon My Fro and others.

“Two years ago, we launched Walmart Start – our beauty brand accelerator program, which has quickly become one of my favorite initiatives,” Creighton Kiper, vice president of beauty merchandising for Walmart U.S., said in the news post. Kiper noted that all of the brands from last year’s class have expanded into more Walmart stores or extended their product count at Walmart.

Beauty retailers like Ulta and Sephora offer their own accelerator programs, including various mentorship and learning opportunities. Accelerator programs not only help novice beauty company founders with key resources, but can also help retailers expand their merchandise offering with up-and-coming brands.

Walmart has been attempting to make a name for itself in the beauty space for some time now. As virtual try-on has become common with companies like Amazon and Google making use of it across categories, Walmart has embraced it across its beauty offering, announcing virtual try-on for makeup with Perfect Corp. in October last year.

Additionally, Walmart opened a clean beauty shop last year, touching on an emerging trend in the beauty space. At launch, most items in the retailer’s clean beauty shop fell under $10, another example of Walmart seeking to position itself as an affordable choice for beauty products. Walmart also partnered with British beauty retailer Space NK two years ago, bringing products to 250 stores and online. Over 600 Space NK items were added to its assortment, helping Walmart wade into the prestige beauty market.


Xanayra Marin-Lopez, Khareem Sudlow