Will Ulta shops turn Target into a beauty destination?
Target and Ulta Beauty have announced a strategic partnership that will result in the launch of a “shop-in-shop” concept — Ulta Beauty at Target — that the two retailers believe will elevate their respective businesses.
The retailers are planning to debut the shops at more than 100 Target stores across the country as well as on Target.com beginning next year. The two retailers expect to open “hundreds more” of the in-store shops going forward. The 1,000-square-foot shops will be staffed by “expert-trained beauty consultants” selling a selection of “curated, prestige beauty brands.”
Ulta will train Target team members to work in the shops that will feature the beauty retailer’s in-store digital tools, including its GLAMLab, virtual try-on technology.
Brian Cornell, Target CEO and chairman, touted the consistent traffic that his chain’s stores enjoy and its omnichannel fulfillment capabilities as factors that should contribute to the success of Ulta Beauty at Target.
Ulta Beauty CEO Mary Dillon said the deal with Target reflects an “evolution” in its own omnichannel strategy.
“More than ever before, now is the time for innovation in retail,” Ms. 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 to delight and deepen loyalty with our existing guests and introduce Ulta Beauty to new guests.”
Customers can use Target’s app and shopping on target.com to order Ulta’s products and can get free same-day shipping via Shipt on qualifying orders, or opt for Drive Up curbside or in-store pickup. Target has promised that its digital presentation of Ulta Beauty, which will go live in the middle to second-half of 2021, will be “immersive” and “engaging.”
The two retailers have between them more than 100 million active loyalty members from their respective Target Circle and Ultamate Rewards programs. The retailers are exploring opportunities to integrate the power of these programs to reward customers who shop the Ulta Beauty at Target concept.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you expect from the Ulta Beauty at Target concept? Will it be a beauty category game-changer?