By  on October 26, 2012

NEW YORK — Target Corp. is putting multicultural shoppers front and center with a complete selection of beauty products tailored for various ethnicities.

The collection of about 1,000 cosmetics, hair-care and bath and body items debuted this week at Target’s New York Studio.

Suppliers include Target’s exclusive Kinky Curly, Mixed Chicks and Camille Rose vegan hair care, in addition to The Jane Carter Solution, Milani, Iman, Grisi, Moco de Gorila, Shea Radiance and Tio Nacho. Prices range from $2.69 to $22. The items are available in roughly half of Target’s 1,781 stores, said Target style expert Tai Beauchamp.

“The assortment reflects the needs of the multiethnic consumer,” said Beauchamp, who as an African-American praised the commitment Target has made. “There used to be only 8 feet of products,” said Beauchamp, adding that many Target stores have upward of 36 feet devoted to the category.

Target’s aim to reach beyond traditional black consumer needs began in 2008 with an exclusive collection of Shea Moisture products.

The success of that line prompted Target to seek out other items for consumers of myriad complexions and hair types. Industry sources said Target is at the forefront of the growing trend to serve a booming multicultural market. According to Census data, Hispanics are the largest ethnic group in the United States with 50 million — or one in six people — considering themselves of Latin origins. There are 43.2 million black Americans and a rapidly expanding Asian population pegged at 18.2 million and now expanding faster than the black and Hispanic population.

“Then there are women of mixed race who want products suited to them,” said Robert Wallner, senior vice president of sales for Milani, earlier this year explaining the strategy behind Milani cosmetics.

With the exception of color cosmetics, which are merchandised with other makeup brands, the multicultural products have a dedicated department within the Target stores so shoppers can find all their needs in one spot.

Many mass-market retailers have developed ethnic-hair-care departments, but Target is widely credited as one of the pioneers of expanding the scope to consumers of several ethnicities.

“We’re excited to offer our guests a differentiated and relevant product assortment at affordable prices to meet their specific beauty needs," said Courtney Foster, a Target spokesperson. “We continually work to expand our multiethnic assortment and have doubled or tripled merchandising space in many of our stores since 2008, to offer affordable, on-trend solutions such as Jane Carter Solution, Mixed Chicks and Shea Radiance."

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