Beauty Store Business

JAN 2019

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34 January 2019 | it continuing to grow, especially with the new color depositing shampoos and con- ditioners," she adds. Prestige hair brands such as Living Proof and Bumble and Bumble are driving growth in this sector. Stenson's main focus is ensuring that shoppers know about all the services Ulta offers. Part of making this idea happen is to shine a light on talented employees and partners. "We haven't gotten this far with- out really fostering the relationships with the people who work inside our stores every single day. We realize they're on the front lines, and the only way we can be successful is by having the right people in our stores and investing in them." The company will roll out revised educational plans for stylists (currently available in only two of its seven markets) nationwide and industry-leading compensation plans for sales associates. Stenson also plans to streamline the salon services Ulta currently offers. He says, "We have new menus coming out that simplify all the different types of services that we do and all the different categories we offer. It will really target the needs of all the male and female guests that come into our stores. That's No. 1." Once that is done, new services may be added. "We'll continue to look at different service assort- ments and what categories we do not have that maybe we should, so something like eyelash extensions–maybe that's an area we need to focus more on and add to the service portfolio," Stenson adds. A third Ulta Beauty location recently opened in Hawaii, and more stores are in the works, with an estimated 70-80 new shops planned each year for the next three years. As of the time of publication, Coy revealed that the team was in early talks for holiday 2019 exclusives and leads. (Ulta recently started carrying Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Fragrance for the 2018 holiday season.) "What you see on our floor today for prestige skin care will certainly be evolving in 2019," she says. "We're always looking at how we can make that skincare menu more impactful for her. Right now we've got a minimum of seven protocols on the Skin Bar menu, and we're always looking at how we can further fine-tune and make them more multibranded in select stores." BETTER TOGETHER Ultimately (pun intended), the Ulta Beauty team relies on collaboration among its internal network of experts to deliver the best in-store experience possible. "It's great to have great partners on the retail and merchandising sides of the business like Penny and Sandy because they're looking at it through the lens of product innova- tion and what our guest needs and wants," Stenson says. "They're digging into those analytics and I'm digging into what she or he needs, to really make sure that customers feel their best and look their best." Ovington agrees, adding, "Nick and I feel that it's important for us to be partners both to give us a competitive advantage and so that our teams work together to win." Penny says, "Nick's team members are truly authorities regarding skincare services and haircare services … and my amazing merchant team really hits it out of the park in understanding what's important in the category. That allows Nick's team to really help sell it to the guest." One thing is clear: Ulta excels at recruiting skilled talent to implement every competitive edge possible in the specialty retail beauty space–whether that's with product selection, salon services, employee development or a loyalty program that fosters an emotional connection with customers. They truly can meet every beauty need in one place. With so many avenues for consumers to buy beauty products today, Ulta is successfully delivering a rich and varied in-store experience that keeps beauty enthusiasts of all ages coming back. ■ GET CONNECTED! @ultabeauty TREND WATCH 2019 Ulta Beauty executives provide their predictions for the coming year. Penny Coy, Vice President of Merchandising, Prestige Skincare and Fragrance "'Natural' is pretty broadly defined. We're looking for products that offer both inner and outer well-being. Customers are definitely interested in K-beauty from Korea and, even moreso than ever, J-beauty from Japan. Chemical, cellular-driven solutions too—we have several brands that say their products are 'where nature meets science.' And then there are certain ingredients that are just a must-have: for instance, SPF in your moisturizer; I always recommend a vitamin C in the morning and a retinol at night regimen for anyone that's a millennial or older." Sandy Ovington, Vice President of Merchandise "We do see scalp care as an emerging trend, with detox shampoos and conditioners. There's potential for a lot more growth in that. We're seeing natural and/or clean products as a trend, and that's going across all categories, including hair care. Dry shampoo is still gaining momentum in 2019, but I think it's going to evolve in the way that people use it. I think they're using it for texture as well as a direct, pure dry shampoo. And, we also see that guests are embracing their natural texture. So, you're seeing guests have curly hair one day, straight hair the next day—she wants to change up her hair." Nick Stenson, Vice President, Salon Services and Trend "We are going to have a huge focus on embracing natural texture for this year. Styling in general has gone to a lived-in, natural kind of realm. And its really about all the new product innovation out there that's helping guests understand how to use things like a texture spray or how to use a dry shampoo as a styling product because the products have changed. … It's really about building a foundation—whether it's in hair, skin or in makeup—so that people understand that there are tons of options out there, but what's the right one for you?" Penny Pre "' b t yo retino Sand "We co s p na ha ir th Nic "W t h in to ns Scott Bell Photography

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