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Ulta Beauty will open mini-shops within Target stores

Erika Beras Nov 10, 2020
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Joe Raedle/Getty Images
COVID-19

Ulta Beauty will open mini-shops within Target stores

Erika Beras Nov 10, 2020
Heard on:
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The beauty and cosmetics retail chain Ulta Beauty and Target announced a partnership Tuesday. Ulta Beauty plans to open over 100 dedicated mini-shops inside Target stores.

The move is, in part, a response to changing consumer behavior during the pandemic and is expected to benefit both retailers.

The partnership means Ulta Beauty will be expanding at a time when lots of other retailers are struggling. Neil Saunders, an analyst with GlobalData, said this type of growth is less risky than opening new stores. “Going into a Target is a relatively safe bet, you know. The foot traffic is there,” he said.

Lately, Ulta stores have seen foot traffic drop off. It was hard hit by closures in the spring. Target, on the other hand, has seen growth.

Jennie Vry Liu, executive director at the Yale Center for Customer Insights, said Ulta may get a boost from Target’s infrastructure. People are looking for one-stop shopping or curbside pickup and same-day shipping, she said, “and Ulta can benefit from tapping into those options as consumer behavior has changed due to the pandemic.”

Target rendering of Ulta Beauty store-in-store location
An early concept rendering of Ulta Beauty mini-shops in select Target locations starting in 2021. (Courtesy Target)

Liu said Target stands to benefit too, by expanding its prestige offerings. “They allow them to bring in brands that Target may not be able to have access to otherwise,” she added.

Some years ago, JCPenney launched a similar deal with Sephora, which became JCPenney’s main beauty vendor.

Lauren Goodsitt, a beauty analyst with research firm Mintel, said the Target collaboration with Ulta will be different “because consumers have already started shopping for their personal care and beauty products at Target.” 

The mini-Ulta shops will not offer all the products and services their stand-alone stores do. And even though so many people are staying home or wearing masks when they go out, which has kept some cosmetic sales down, Goodsitt says self-care is still selling. 

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