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October 20, 2021
Ulta Outlines Strategic Priorities
Posted In: Retail Articles


As it hosted a virtual analyst and investor conference, Ulta Beauty has revealed an update on its strategic priorities and longer-term financial targets that emphasize establishing the company as a unique, differentiated entity in its retail sector.

The strategic priorities include, Ulta stated, increasing market share and driving profitable growth and driving breakthrough sales gains by expanding the definition of All Things Beauty, its initiative to become a one-stop-shop for beauty shoppers. It also plans to evolve omnichannel experiences through connected physical and digital ecosystems and expand and deepen the company’s presence across beauty shopping through the Heart of the Beauty Community. Ulta said its priorities also include driving operational excellence and optimization, protecting and cultivating world-class culture and talent, and expanding the company’s environmental and social impact work.

In the analyst and investor conference presentation, Ulta stated that it:

  • Introduced Beauty to Go, a commitment that buy-online, pick-up in store orders will be ready for pick-up in two hours or less, giving guests fast, convenient access to purchases
  • Launched same-day delivery in select markets
  • Announced a new partnership with Google to leverage Ulta Beauty’s GlamLab Virtual try-on tool for lipstick and eyeshadow with select brands available on Google’s Search and YouTube platforms
  • Debuted a strategic investment and partnership with Adeptmind, an AI retail technology company, to power a new personalized search engine for the company’s Digital Store of the Future
  • Unveiled a $20 million Digital Innovation Fund that will enable the company to closely partner with innovators, entrepreneurs, early-stage investors and other agents of change to transform the future of beauty, retail and commerce
  • Introduced UB Media, a new business model that harnesses the power of the company’s first-party data to transform the way Ulta brand partners can connect with beauty lovers
  • Detailed new efforts to increase guest engagement that bring together entertainment, expertise and commerce through a creator and content ecosystem
  • Discussed scaling of personalization capabilities that leverage Ulta data to deepen member engagement and loyalty
  • Announced a new, multi-year cost savings target of $150 million to $200 million to fund investments in future growth initiatives
  • Disclosed investments supporting the development of a guest-centric supply chain
  • Reported plans to upgrade its Enterprise Resource Planning platform through a multi-year, business-led transformation called Project SOAR.

Ulta financial targets through 2024 include total net sales growth of5% to 7% CAGR, net new store growth of 50 stores per year, comparable sales of 3% to 5% annually, operating profit as a percentage of sales, of 13% to 14%, low double-digit diluted earnings per share gains CAGR, and 4% to 5% of sales capital expenditures.

“Reflecting our understanding about how the consumer and beauty category are evolving, we have refreshed our strategic framework, and we are excited to share our vision for Ulta Beauty’s future,” said Dave Kimbell, Ulta CEO, in announcing the strategic priorities and financial targets. “We have a long record of disruption, creativity and success, and we intend to build on this foundation and continue to lead the beauty category, seamlessly connecting physical and digital channels, expanding our market share, and increasing member loyalty. We are optimistic about the opportunities ahead and believe the power of the beauty category, paired with our proven business model, experienced leadership team, and values-based culture, positions Ulta Beauty to continue to deliver long-term value for shareholders.”

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