An excursion to Nigeria by executives from McBride Research Laboratories (MRL), the parent company for Design Essentials, served to assess the viability of entry into this emerging market. While in the region, MRL CEO Cornell McBride, Sr. discovered more about the landscape of beauty and the demand for Western hair care products and hairstyling trends that are driving the product choices of women in the country. During his trip, McBride was invited to appear on CNBC Africa to weigh in on his interest in expansion and how Design Essentials will contribute to the country.
“You have a renaissance across Africa,” said McBride. “We don’t seek to just bring products to sell, but to bring manufacturing and create jobs and opportunities.”
McBride Research Laboratories is partnering with local business developers Compass Consulting to provide direction on market launch. Design Essentials said it seeks to replicate its strategy of partnering first with the salon professional and establishing a network of entrepreneurial distributors who supply the products to individual territories.
Both the Design Essentials Salon System and Design Essentials Natural lines are being earmarked for rollout in this market. While the natural hair movement is not as pronounced in the region as in the US, there is evidence of increased interest among women to wear their hair in its natural state, which will require styling and educational efforts from the stylist community, according to McBride.