To springboard its success in the US market, Sephora inked a deal with J.C. Penney in 2006 to open concept stores across the department store chain’s hundreds-strong network.

The strategy was a stunning success and today the world’s largest speciality beauty player has more than 600 in-store beauty counters in J.C. Penney locations.

In May, Sephora threatened to pull out of the agreement when J.C. Penney furloughed its boutique employees during the Covid-19 pandemic. But the spat was over in a week or two and the two companies re-affirmed the 14 year relationship.

Ulta Beauty, which is the number one speciality beauty chain in the US ahead of Sephora, is taking a leaf from the same retail playbook.

The beauty titan has teamed with Target to open more than 100 shop-in-shops in the discount retailer’s stores by the second half of 2021.

The two companies boast a combined total of 100 million active loyalty program members. The 330 square metre Ulta outposts will stock established and emerging brands that dovetail with Target’s own extensive beauty business.

Ulta will also train newly-hired Target employees to become experts in the prestige beauty sector.

The major benefits of the tie-up, as the Sephora/J.C. Penney agreement has proved, will be massively increased exposure  for Ulta without the need to find, develop and open new stores.

Target will enjoy an enhanced beauty footprint, notably in prestige, and an anticipated increase in foot traffic.

According to a joint statement – “The partnership brings Ulta Beauty’s best-in-class beauty authority to millions of guests who love the ease and convenience of Target’s one-stop shopping experience. It also provides beauty brands with an opportunity to expand and grow in a new, industry-leading omnichannel retail experience.”

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