Unfortunately, it’s a rarity for African American’s to be major players in the hair industry–despite our contribution to keep it running. However in-between the giant cash cows, we were able to make an effective presence in some business mediums and Carol’s Daughter was one of them. Earlier this year, trouble brewed for the brand’s owner, Lisa Price, leaving her bankrupt, as she was forced to close multiple stores and eventually she sold her business to L’Oreal. After backlash and questions of why, Price, sat down with Madame Noire and she divulged that this was a long time coming—four years to be exact.
What happened with us, we were seeing a decline in our store for the past four years. Initially, I thought and some of my team members thought, we didn’t have the bandwidth to really give attention to the retail stores. And for me, I was overwhelmed with trying to figure out department stores and HSN. When we had it all figured out, I thought, okay let’s really look at the merchandise in the stores, the staff in the stores, the size of the stores, what are we doing that apparently isn’t working. So we redesigned. We opened up a salon in our Harlem store, that’s still doing well and one in our Atlanta store, that unfortunately didn’t do well. We changed the merchandise and we changed the navigating within the store.
After seeing the efforts that Lisa and her team put in, you would think it was the answer to everything. But even after her efforts to cater to the consumer, she reveals, “it didn’t really help.” She says it’s based on the fact that people are more online shopper’s than department store shoppers.
People shop very differently today. Last holiday season, traffic was down significantly but up online, just in general in retail. And that was the same for us. We had our best holiday season ever on the internet, but the absolute worse holiday season we had ever seen. So with launching in Target and having much more exposure and already being in the malls, to that extent and having such an engaging consumer, it just didn’t make much financial sense to keep all of the stores open.