Approximately 9,800 beauty supply businesses exist nationwide; but only a little more than 300 are black-owned, Naturallymoi reports.
In an article published on Cascade Patch, Devin Robinson, owner of Atlanta’s Beauty Supply Institute, attributes the lack of African-American business owners in the industry to cost mark-ups by Koreans.
According to the article, Korean-American entrepreneurs control all major components of the beauty supply business. There are four central distributors serving a large portion of the beauty supply stores in the country, all Korean-owned. These distributors only work with other Koreans in order to dominate the market.
“The Koreans strategically make it harder for us to get into the business. They have the supplies the customers want,” Robinson said. “They sell it to us at higher prices or they deliver the products late to the black-owned stores. Sometimes they don’t allow orders from us at all.”
For almost 50 years, the Korean-American community has dominated the black beauty supply market by opening large stores, buying out smaller black-owned ones and using the faces of black celebrities on their products and black employees in their stores to grow their businesses in the black community.
Read more at Cascade Patch.