Ulta Beauty, Inc., formerly known as Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc., is an American chain of beauty stores headquartered in Bolingbrook, Illinois. Ulta Beauty carries cosmetics and skincare brands, men's and women's fragrances, nail products, bath and body products, beauty tools and haircare products. Each store is also equipped with a salon, Benefit brow bar and Dermalogica skin bar. Ulta Beauty currently has 1,196 stores across all 50 states.
|Formerly||Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (1990–2017)|
|Founded||1990(as Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc.)|
Number of locations
|1,124 (August 2018)|
|Revenue||US$4.855 billion (2016)|
|US$409.8 million (2016)|
|Total assets||US$2.552 billion (2016)|
Number of employees
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Ulta Salon, Cosmetics and Fragrance was founded by Richard E. George, the former President of Osco Drug, Inc., and Terry Hanson. George left work at Osco in 1989, beginning his attempt to create a business plan for what would later be Ulta. His business plan included a new concept for retail that offers higher-end and lower-end products. Other Osco executives joined George and Hanson in the business, and raised $11.5 million in venture capital, and launched Ulta officially in 1990.
In September 1996, Hanson hired Charles "Rick" Weber, another Osco veteran, as Chief Financial Officer. In the later years, Terry Hanson became president of the company. In December 1999, Lyn Kirby, formerly of Sears Circle of Beauty, became the President and Chief Executive Officer and Weber became Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. The two ran the business together until Weber left in September 2006 when he was selected by Tom Stemberg, founder of Staples, to become Chairman and Chief Executive officer of Rec Room Furniture and Games, Inc. On October 25, 2007, the company became publicly traded on the NASDAQ.
In 2008, the company opened a second distribution center in Phoenix, Arizona. On April 26, 2010, Ulta announced that Carl "Chuck" Rubin would be appointed as Chief Operating Officer, President, and as a member of the Board of Directors, effective May 10, 2010. According to public filings, Rubin earned over $11.1 million in 2010, making him one of the 20 highest paid CEOs in Chicago.
On June 24, 2013, it was announced that Mary Dillon would be appointed as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, effective July 1, 2013. Dillon was previously the chief of U.S. Cellular and a senior executive at McDonald's and PepsiCo.
As of February 2017, the company had a net income of $269 million, and has stock in over 20,000 products including makeup, fragrances, and nail, skin, and hair products. Ulta Beauty offers products from about 500 beauty brands across all categories and price points. Ulta also employs over 35,000 associates, where 88% are female.
Ultimately, Ulta Beauty was designed for customers to go into freestanding stores, such as found in strip malls, that allow them to feel comfortable shopping in a makeup store, with no workers handing out samples. In 1994, Ulta had a makeover that eliminated products and items that were typical of drugstores, such as toothbrushes and vitamins. The store moved strictly to beauty products. In 1999, Ulta Beauty changed its name from Ulta3, changing the brand almost entirely.
In 2013, Ulta opened 125 stores in the United States, bringing their total number of locations to 675 stores. They also announced plans to open 100 more locations by the end of 2014. On August 4, 2018, Ulta operated 1,124 stores in 49 states and the District of Columbia. As of February 2, 2019, Ulta operates 1,174 retail stores across 50 states. A majority of Ulta Beauty stores are located in the East Coast region, although California also has a large presence of company-owned stores.
Ulta Beauty offers both high-end and drugstore cosmetics, skincare, and fragrances, in addition to its own brand of makeup, bath and body products, skincare, haircare, nail polish, fragrances and some men's products. In May 2017, MAC Cosmetics became available for purchase online, with products scheduled to be in stores beginning in June 2017. Kylie Cosmetics debuted in Ulta stores November 17, 2018. Also, Colourpop Cosmetics launched in Ulta stores on February 25, 2018.
Ulta has a salon located in every store nationwide. The store format includes a 950 square feet salon area with eight to ten stations. The salon has a concierge desk, skin treatment room, and semi-private shampoo and hair color processing areas. It offers services including haircuts and coloring from Redken-trained hair stylists, skin treatments and facials from Dermalogica-trained skin therapists, and manicures from OPI-trained professionals. They also provide professional makeup applications. They additionally include the Benefit Brow Bar, which includes services such as brow arching, brow tinting, facial waxing, and eyelash application.
Ulta Beauty sales were $713.8 million for the first quarter ending in May 2014. At the end of the second quarter ending in August 2014, Ulta Beauty reported that total sales increased by 22.2 percent and comparable store sales increased 9.6 percent. Wall Street expected the company's total sales to reach $3.19 billion for the fiscal year ending in February 2015, which would be almost three times its 2009 sales levels. As of February 2, 2019 net sales for Ulta Beauty have increased 9.7% to $2,124.7 million.
The Ulta Beauty Charitable Foundation (UBCF), was formed in 2016, and aims to support the education and well-being of women and their families by partnering with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), Dress for Success and additional local charities. In 2009, Ulta Beauty partnered with BCRF and in the 10 years since, has raised more than $22 million to support its groundbreaking research. UBCF is among BCRF's top three major donors and is currently helping to fund 16 breast cancer research projects. UBCF partnered with Dress for Success in 2017 to help empower women to achieve economic independence by providing them with professional attire and the resources needed to help them progress their careers. Ulta Beauty provides financial support, products and valuable time to local nonprofit organizations, especially in relation to family and child care, and many leaders serve on the board of various nonprofits organizations. UBCF also has an Associate Relief Program that helps employees at Ulta Beauty affected by a financial hardship.
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