Why are most beauty supply stores Asian-owned?

Why are most beauty supply stores Asian-owned?

Introduction to the Asian-owned Beauty Industry

When you walk into a beauty supply store, it’s quite common to see that it's predominantly owned by Asians, particularly those of Korean descent. This phenomenon isn't just an interesting tidbit, but rather, a reflection of a deep-rooted tradition, an entrepreneurial spirit and a keen understanding of the beauty market. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this trend.

History and Migration Patterns

The history of Asian-owned beauty supply stores can be traced back to the immigration pattern of Koreans to the United States. In the 1960s and 1970s, many Koreans migrated to the U.S in search of better opportunities, and they started to open their own businesses as a means of survival. The beauty supply industry, known for its high profit margins and constant demand, became one of the most popular choices.

The Role of Ethnic Networks

For Koreans, the beauty supply industry became a common business venture due to the strong ethnic networks that existed within the community. These networks offered support and resources for new immigrants, helping them navigate the complexities of the business world. Over time, this led to a proliferation of Korean-owned beauty supply stores.

The Influence of Korean Beauty Trends

Korea has always been at the forefront of beauty and skincare trends. From BB creams to sheet masks, Korean beauty products and trends have changed the global beauty industry. This influence has given Korean-owned beauty supply stores a competitive edge, as they are often the first to stock new and popular products from their home country.

Understanding the Market

One of the key reasons why most beauty supply stores are Asian-owned is because of their deep understanding of the market. They know what customers want, and they know how to provide it. From offering products that cater to a diverse range of skin tones and hair types, to understanding the importance of customer service, these owners have a pulse on what keeps customers coming back.

Building Relationships with Suppliers

Another important factor is the ability of these store owners to build strong relationships with suppliers. Many of these owners have direct connections with manufacturers in Asia, allowing them to source products at lower costs and offer a wider variety of products to their customers.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in many Asian communities. This drive, combined with an emphasis on hard work and perseverance, has led many Asians to open their own businesses. The beauty supply industry, with its high profit margins and consistent demand, has been a popular choice for these entrepreneurs.

Community Support

Community support is also a significant factor. Many Asian-owned beauty supply stores are located in neighborhoods with large Asian populations, providing a familiar and comfortable shopping experience for these customers. This sense of community not only drives repeat business but also contributes to the survival and success of these stores.

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite the success of Asian-owned beauty supply stores, they also face challenges. From language barriers to competition from online retailers, these store owners must constantly adapt to keep up with the changing beauty industry. However, their deep understanding of the market, combined with their ability to source products directly from manufacturers, provides them with unique opportunities for growth and success.


In conclusion, the prevalence of Asian-owned beauty supply stores can be attributed to a combination of historical, cultural, and economic factors. From the initial migration of Koreans to the U.S, to the influence of Korean beauty trends, these factors have shaped the landscape of the beauty supply industry. Despite challenges, the future looks bright for these hardworking entrepreneurs who continue to influence and shape the beauty industry.

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