Retail

Ulta Beauty Steps Up Its Game With MAC Cosmetics Addition

When it comes to makeup brands, there is no brand bigger than Estée Lauder’s MAC Cosmetics.

So what does the Ulta Beauty, the largest U.S. beauty retailer, do to boost itself higher on consumers’ — and, even better, competitors’ — radar? It adds on the MAC powerhouse, of course.

With 2016 sales totaling $4.9 billion up from just $3.9 billion the year prior and 100 new stores added bringing its total locations up to 974 locations, it’s safe to say Ulta has a good head on its shoulders with this bold partnership step. Known for being the place to stop either just to get glammed up in its salon or pick out makeup from a variety of brands offered, the strategic decision to welcome MAC Cosmetics into its offerings is likely to help continue the company’s upward trajectory. Initially, Ulta’s management has shared that the MAC brand will be integrated into a few store locations, starting with Manhattan, Chicago and San Diego.

In 2016 alone, Ulta’s overall sales increased by 23.7 percent, and its fourth quarter saw a 24.6 percent boost in sales. The area where Ulta saw the largest jump was in its eCommerce sales growth, as that shot up by 56.2 percent, equaling $345.3 million for the 2016 fiscal year. The beauty retailer giant also has plans to open an additional 100 locations, with 13 current stores receiving a remodel (perhaps with a dedicated MAC counter).

With specialty retailers pulling in big brand names into their brick-and-mortar stores, it’s likely that this will be another factor drawing foot traffic away from big department stores like Macy’s and JCPenney’s. Over the past few months, we’ve reported on the ever-changing consumer behavior that includes people prioritizing more personalized experiences and less human interaction with businesses. Through using consumer data to confirm desires, retailers like Ulta will likely continue to integrate highly sought-after products and brands to enhance the shopping experience.

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