Fewer Covid-19 restrictions and stronger consumer confidence have also boosted the bottom line for Ulta Beauty, the largest speciality beauty chain in the US.

The company has posted a record result for the third quarter of its fiscal year 2021 of US$2 billion. An increase of 28.6 per cent over the same period in 2020.

Gross profit also surged to US$789.7 million by contrast to US$545.5 million for the same period last year.

Ulta Beauty opened 100 shop-in-shop outlets in Target stores across the US in 2021. It’s too early to say whether the expansion has paid off, but the company is appreciating the results so far, says COO Kecia Steelman.

Based on the strong Q3 performance, the beauty retailer has upped its forecast for the financial year to between US$8.5 billion and US$8.6 billion.

Going forward, there will also be a stronger focus on salon capability which has returned to 100 per cent and skin services will be re-launched in 100 selected Ulta Beauty stores.

Olaplex, the number one prestige haircare brand in the US, will be rolled out in all of the retailer’s stores and online in January.

Ulta Beauty also expanded M.A.C Cosmetics into a further 200 stores and welcomed Bobbi Brown and Elaluz as new brands. Recent launches from NYX, ColourPop and Urban Decay drove sales in makeup and Drunk Elephant, Fresh, Peach Slices, Tula, Clinique and The Ordinary did the same in skincare, says CEO Dave Kimbell.

“For the third quarter, we delivered record sales and earnings, increased our market share, and expanded our Ultamate Rewards loyalty program to 36 million members. This performance reflects the strength and resiliency of the beauty category.”

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