Honest Beauty is expanding distribution from its website to 250 Ulta Beauty stores beginning at the end of February.
The move marks the national distribution debut of the cosmetics and skin care line, which launched in September 2015 and is comprised of 82 stock keeping units. Chris Thorne, The Honest Company’s Chief Marketing Officer, said products will occupy a six foot gondola within the prestige side of Ulta’s product mix, between makeup and skin care, “a unique place for a new brand,” he said. The collection includes 70 makeup items and 12 skin care items with prices ranging from $8 to $40 for skin care and $15 to $30 for cosmetics.
Chris added that Honest Beauty’s 1,000 square foot pop-up store at The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles will continue to operate through 2016.
“We continue to be really pleased with the response of consumers [from the store], it’s doing really well,” he said. “We were founded on listening and learning from customers and personalized service and making products that fit the needs of customers and this gets us close to the consumer and gives us valuable information on what they are looking for.”
Honest Beauty is a division of The Honest Company, a privately-held lifestyle brand based in Santa Monica, Calif., founded by A-Lister Jessica Alba in 2012. The firm makes everything from diapers to personal care products to home care with sales exceeding $200 million, according to industry sources.
Ulta Beauty was chosen as the retail partner for several reasons.
“Personalized service—Ulta is really known for that. The Jessica Alba brand and The Honest Company is playful and accessible to the consumer and Ulta offers a great experiential environment,” Chris said.
Social media will play a big role in promoting the brand’s move into retail.
“[Social media] is really the story of The Honest Company and how it developed. It was a grassroots movement four years ago, resonating with consumer needs. Jessica Alba was a huge part of that and that is what we are focused on for social media. Getting to know them and learning from their needs.”
Jessica will play a big part of that engagement, Chris said, as she is engaged with every aspect of the company.
“She is heavily involved in this business. As someone who joined [the company] last year I am amazed at how engaged she is, especially with Honest Beauty, which is a huge passion for her. She is in the warehouse or in the supply chain, working with retail, the look and feel of it.”
Chris declined to share sales goals of Honest Beauty, but said that given the positioning of the collection, which revolves around safe, efficacious beauty, he sees “a huge opportunity” within the market. Each product carries with it the “Honestly Free Guarantee,” which means that it is made without many ingredients of questionable health and safety standards such as parabens, phthalates, petrolatum and sulfates.
“Jessica has been in a makeup chair since she was 12 and has worked with the most prestigious lines and brands. Now when you see her on the Red Carpet or in magazines, she’s wearing Honest Beauty, a line that’s clean and conscious. It’s her passion.”