Ulta Beauty to open hundreds of shops — in Target

Marianne Wilson
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Ulta Beauty is expanding its footprint in a partnership with Target Corp.

The two retailers have entered into a deal to open Ulta-branded makeup and skincare shops inside hundreds of Target stores nationwide. The initiative will start rolling out at 100 Target stores nationwide in 2021, with hundreds more locations opening in the coming years. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Ulta in-store shops will be about 1,000 sq. ft. each and feature more than 40 beauty brands and a rotating assortment of products from hair care and fragrances to lip gloss. Ulta will train Target employees as beauty consultants. The discounter will also offer an online version of the Ulta experience on its website.

The Ulta shops, which will be located near Target’s existing beauty section, be designed to showcase a wide range of prestige products and brands that are not available at Target. 

Target said it is also exploring ways to integrate personalized services and digital tools into the experience, such as Ulta's virtual try-on tool (GlamLab) that provides a safe and fun way to test out products before buying.

“We couldn’t be happier about bringing these two trusted brands together to redefine retail beauty experiences,” said Brian Cornell, Target’s chairman and CEO. “This matchup brings Ulta Beauty’s coveted prestige beauty assortment, category expertise and guest loyalty together with Target’s high-growth beauty business and the ease and convenience of our industry-leading fulfillment services.”

Cornell and Ulta CEO Mary Dillon told CNBC they see the strategic partnership as a long-term deal that will catch customers’ attention and drive higher sales. 

“More than ever before, now is the time for innovation in retail,” Dillon said in a statement. “This partnership is an amazing way to further reimagine guest experiences with a partner who shares our company values. We are thrilled to bring our beauty expertise, unparalleled assortment and digital innovation to life in a new channel.”

Customers will be able to shop in person or use Target’s same-day services, such as curbside pickup or home delivery by Shipt, to get their online beauty purchases.

 The partnership will give Ulta increased exposure and a new channel to sell its products, while expanding Target's beauty efforts with higher-end products.