Riding on the tailwinds of successfully selling M.A.C and other premium lines, Ulta Beauty has now landed Chanel Beauté.
Ulta’s Chief Executive Officer, Mary Dillon, announced a select number of stores will stock an edited assortment of Chanel’s iconic cosmetics items during an analyst call last week. “Following our long-standing partnership with Chanel offering their iconic fragrances in hundreds of our stores, we are honored to introduce Chanel Beauté in a small number of Ulta Beauty doors this year,” Mary said. “This will be an edited assortment featuring a Chanel-branded makeup station.”
Expected in that range are Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick (which carries a suggested retail of $37) as well as complexion, lips, eye shadows, mascara, brows, blush/contour/highlight palettes as well as skincare and nails. The Chanel items will not be sold online at this time.
Chanel Beauté is sold in its own stores and website, in select department stores and at Cos Bar. The Chanel assortment will make an entrance in a new Westport, Conn. store set to open in a few weeks that was once an Anthropologie store, according to those familiar with the site. Westport will open with the full assortment on March 30. Future doors will have a curated assortment, according to Ulta.
Ulta Beauty has proven its power in selling premium brands with Mary singling its prestige boutique partners – M.A.C, Clinique, Lancôme and Benefit Cosmetics as those driving the growth rates in the retailer’s portfolio. “Reflecting the strong performance, we are ramping up the rollout of these boutiques faster than we initially anticipated,” Mary said, adding the company will now roll out 675 boutiques during 2018. That includes plans for more than 200 M.A.C boutiques.
Skin wellness is moving the needle for skin care and Mary said Ulta is adding The Better Skin Company, Crepe Erase, Mamonde and David Beckham’s HOUSE 99, a grooming collection that is exclusive to Ulta. During the call, Mary also announced plans for a Skin Bar at Ulta with trained skin experts in charge of prestige retail sales and skin-service sales.
An exclusive in color is Beauty by PopSugar (now online and in 250 doors). The company is extending the selection in Nars, Cover FX and adding Dose of Color to select stores. Mary also gave a nod to two foundations only found at Ulta – Tarte Shape Tape and IT Cosmetics Bye Bye foundation.
Ulta isn’t backing off mass beauty, either, and just completed what Mary called a “reflow” of the department to distinguish its assortment from competitors. New or extending brands include Morphe, E.l.f., Makeup Revolution, Milani, Wet ‘n Wild, Drew Barrymore’s Flower and cult favorite ColourPop.
Ulta Beauty’s sales for the fiscal year were up 21.2%, to $5.88 billion, including a 53rd selling week. Without that additional week, which represented $108.8 million in net sales, sales were up 19% for the year. Net income was up 35.5% to $555.2 million, from $409.8 million for the prior year. Mary noted the reward program has 27.8 million members, up 19% and results are promising from a new diamond level for those spending more than $1,200 per year. Ulta closed out the year with 1,074 stores with 100 new in the pipeline for 2018.
Mary addressed a recent lawsuit alleging Ulta repackaged and resold used cosmetics. “Let me be clear. We do not sell used, damaged or expired products and have zero tolerance for any actions that would compromise the integrity of the products we sell.”