Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Out to Prove Africa is a Viable Market
Five years ago, Barbadian singer, actress and fashion designer, Rihanna took the cosmetics market by storm when she unveiled a makeup brand distinctly designed for people of color.
Once again, the singer has cast her sights on unconventional wisdom as she looks to take a huge risk on a market that is often overlooked by some global brands; Africa.
Rihanna and her partner, luxury giant LVMH, have decided to take Fenty Beauty to a continent worth an estimated $2 billion U.S. dollars in retail value in 2022 across premium beauty and personal care, according to data from researcher Euromonitor International.
The line is available in South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Global beauty brands had passed over African countries for years because of lower consumer spending power. Historically, the industry also focused on making products for white skin and hair types.
The 34-year-old international superstar enters with advantages. She had a big social media following on the continent and a lot of consumers were already buying Fenty products online despite pricey shipping costs.
“Now we get to experience it ourselves, on our turf,” said Ms Foyin Ogunrombi, a beauty influencer who promoted the launch of the brand for ARC, a retailer in South Africa.
She predicts that Rihanna’s star power and the brand’s established popularity will help the products sell well.
For LVMH, which has a stake in Fenty, pushing the beauty line into Africa could help promote its house of brands, which include Hennessy and Tag Heuer, to the region’s young and increasingly wealthy shoppers.
The company generates about 90 percent of its sales from Europe, Asia and the United States, meaning Africa is largely untapped.