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Hudson’s Bay Company joins the 15 Percent Pledge

22 companies have taken the 15 Percent Pledge so far.
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A 350-year-old retailer can learn new merchandising tactics: Hudson’s Bay Company, Canada’s largest department store, has joined the 15 Percent Pledge.

  • Starting with the fall 2021 season, 15% of new brands added to Hudson’s Bay will be Black-, indigenous-, or people of color-owned or designed.
  • The same benchmark applies to the design talent behind Hudson’s Bay’s private labels.

The backstory: Aurora James, founder and creative director at Brother Vellies, started the 15 Percent Pledge nearly a year ago. It calls on retailers to increase the shelf space allotted to Black-owned brands to at least 15%, roughly the percentage of the Black population in the US. Participating brands receive consulting services and quarterly audits to ensure they reach the benchmark.

  • Sephora was the first to take the Pledge last June. 21 more companies across the US and Canada have joined since, from home goods purveyors (West Elm and Crate & Barrel) to apparel brands (Gap and J.Crew).

Other commitments: Some retailers have gone the DIY route, increasing their assortment of Black-owned brands through individual initiatives.

  • Ulta promised to double the Black-owned brands it carries by the end of this year as part of a $25 million investment in diversity and inclusion initiatives.
  • Nordstrom said it would generate $500 million in sales from brands with Black or Latinx owners or designers. — HL
Retail news that keeps industry pros in the know

Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.