Procter & Gamble, the consumer packaged goods company known for such household staples as Tide and Old Spice, will acquire Walker & Company Brands, the company that makes health and beauty products for people of color launched by entrepreneur Tristan Walker five years ago. Walker & Company Brands will operate as a separate and wholly-owned subsidiary of P&G, continuing to be led by Walker, according to a joint statement released by the companies. It has also been reported that within the first half of 2019, Walker and his current team of 15 employees will relocate to Atlanta, not Cincinnati, the home of P&G headquarters, which Walker says accounts for the largest percentage of his customers by location.
Founded in 2013, Walker & Company Brands has spent the last five years developing products and services tailored for people of color. It brings with it well-respected, high performance brands, including Bevel, a comprehensive grooming experience designed for the specific needs of men with coarse or curly hair, and FORM Beauty, a premium hair care collection developed to meet the unique needs of women with textured hair. The merger, both companies said, is designed to help grow P&G’s multicultural business and accelerate growth for Walker & Company’s existing brands, as well fuel the development of additional products designed for the specific needs of people of color.
Total Retail's Take: Good move, P&G. With Walker & Company, the CPG company acquires an emerging player in health and beauty focused on serving the country’s growing multicultural customer base. P&G is following in the footsteps of its rival, Unilever, which last year acquired Sundial Brands, a maker of personal care products popular among women of color. Furthermore, acquiring Walker & Company, a modern brand focused squarely on the millennial market, helps to improve P&G's "cool" factor. After all, Walker & Company, and Tristan Walker himself, have been experts at using millennial-minded marketing tactics such as social media and influencers to help grow its business. Walker, for example, launched a popular Bevel Code newsletter and blog, pop-up experiences at venues like Barclays Center and Afropunk, and has relationships with artists like Nas (an investor) and DJ Khaled (who once posted a Snapchat video of himself getting a shape-up with the Bevel Trimmer).