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WWD: Ulta Debuts New Store Format Organized by Themes and Major Brands

WWD: Ulta Debuts New Store Format Organized by Themes and Major Brands

Ulta has unveiled its new store format that it will apply to more than 40 stores this year. According to WWD, Ulta’s new store format will create a shopping environment that is easier for consumers to navigate, with the retailer transitioning from a model that organized brands according to price points and target consumers into a layout in which goods are arranged according to themes.

“We always want to reimagine and rethink and, most importantly, look at what our guests are sharing with us,” said Monica Arnaudo, Chief Merchandising Officer, according to reporting in WWD. “We wanted to bring like categories together — what we call intuitive adjacencies — and create aspiration for our guests when they walk in the door.”

New offerings within the updated store configuration include:

  • A Cue the New section located in the front of the store to promote fresh brand launches, displayed on three gondolas that can easily be rearranged;
  • A center area that includes gondolas promoting Clinique, Estée Lauder and Lancôme makeup and skincare, followed by dedicated MAC and Benefit displays;
  • A bath and body care area that features a Wellness Wall;
  • The Beauty Bar, where the retailer will host events and activations;
  • Impulse, a section dedicated to travel products and trial sizes;
  • Conscious Beauty, an area featuring “clean” brands; and
  • Ulta-branded gondolas within the makeup section.

The left side of the revamped store will host a larger skincare area, with makeup offerings on the right side. A checkout area is now located in the back of the store and positioned in front of the salon space, which features a seating area. 

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In October 2021, Ulta shared plans to open 50 new stores per year. In 2022, the retailer will open or renovate approximately 44 stores that feature the new layout, in cities including Jacksonville, Fla., Fairfax, Va. and Austin, Texas.

All of the new openings and renovations slated for 2023 will follow the new layout. Ulta operated 1,325 stores across every state in the U.S. at the end of Q2 2022 on July 30, 2022. The retailer generated a net sales increase of 16.8% to $2.3 billion during this period, up from $2 billion during Q2 2021.

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