Strategic Imperatives

We are committed to executing our strategic imperatives to drive long-term growth and sustainable competitive advantages.

Drive growth across Beauty enthusiast segments
Acquire new guests and deepen loyalty with existing guests: We believe there is an opportunity to use consumer insights and effective marketing tactics to acquire new guests and increase our “share of wallet” of existing guests. We have sharpened our brand positioning, and are increasing awareness of the Ulta Beauty brand by communicating our brand differentiation through broad scale advertising. We continue to leverage our direct mail advertising, catalogs and newspaper inserts to communicate with our guests. We are also deploying additional marketing tactics, such as digital, in-store events and public relations to drive brand engagement, deepen the guest connection to Ulta Beauty and strengthen our authority in the beauty category. In addition, we plan to grow and further leverage our loyalty program and CRM platform. We use this proprietary database to drive traffic, better understand our guests’ purchasing patterns and support new store site selection. We have approximately 29 million active Ulta Beauty guests enrolled in our Ultamate Rewards loyalty program. Loyalty member transactions represent more than 90% of our annual total net sales, and the transaction data demonstrates that loyalty members shop with higher frequency and spend more per visit as compared to non-members. The customer data captured by our loyalty program, together with our CRM platform, enable customer segmentation and targeted marketing communications tailored to our guests’ unique beauty needs. We believe our loyalty program, combined with our growing CRM capabilities, provide a significant long-term competitive advantage for Ulta Beauty.
Deepen Ulta Beauty love and loyalty
Differentiate by delivering a distinctive and personalized guest experience across all channels: The Ulta Beauty guest experience today is differentiated by our broad array of categories, brands and price points, high quality services and friendly, well-trained, non-commissioned associates. Our opportunity is to sharpen that experience, by making it more relevant, differentiated and personalized in-store and online. Our store associates are the key to delivering a distinctive guest experience that is personal, informative and fun. To enable an elevated and engaging in-store guest experience, we are focusing on three key areas: process improvements, store and technology enhancements and labor and staffing solutions. At the same time, we are improving our e-commerce guest experience to ensure it is easy and informative with content that inspires, educates and enables sharing and social engagement. For example, we have improved our mobile app, launched a try-on app called “Glamlab” to digitally test products and expanded our online assortment. Through our loyalty and CRM capabilities, we continue to emphasize targeted communications and personalized promotions that are relevant to our guests.
Deliver a one of a kind, world class beauty assortment
Offer relevant, innovative and often exclusive products that excite our guests: We believe our broad selection of merchandise across categories, price points and brands offers a unique shopping experience for our guests. While the products we sell can be found in department stores, specialty stores, salons, drug stores and mass merchandisers, we offer approximately 500 brands in one retail format so that our guests can find everything they need in one shopping trip. Our vision is to be the undisputed destination for All Things Beauty. All in One Place™. To achieve this vision, we continue to evolve our product assortment with a focus on newness, exclusivity and category dominance and we focus on three key areas: prestige cosmetics, mass cosmetics and professional hair care in order to maximize our leadership in these categories. We also continue to upgrade and enhance the Ulta Beauty Collection, our private label, which offers products in key categories such as cosmetics, skincare and bath. Because of our broad array of categories, brand and price points, we appeal to a wide range of consumers including women of all ages, demographics and lifestyles.
Lead the in-store and beauty services experience transformation
Deliver exceptional services in three core areas: hair, skin health and brows: Our services offerings play an important role on delivering on our brand promise to be All Things Beauty. All in One Place™. We plan to establish Ulta Beauty as a leading salon authority by providing high quality and consistent services from our licensed stylists, with a focus on the key pillars of hair, skin health and brows. We provide haircare services in our full service salons, using high quality Redken products and offering trend-right hairstyles and color. We also offer skin services in partnership with Dermalogica in all stores and brow services through Benefit Brow Bars in most of our stores. Our strategy is to drive awareness and trial of our salon services with new guests as well as accelerate the frequency of existing guests’ visits. Salon guests shop more frequently and spend almost three times more than non-salon guests based on loyalty guest data. We believe focusing on guest satisfaction, increasing effectiveness of promotions and optimizing staffing and scheduling will make our services business an even stronger differentiator in our stores.
Reinvent beauty digital engagement
Grow stores and e-commerce to reach and serve more guests: Our real estate vision is to make Ulta Beauty accessible and convenient to more consumers across a variety of markets, a key part of how we plan to double our market share over the next several years. We believe that over the long-term, we have the potential to grow our store base to between 1,400 to 1,700 Ulta Beauty stores in the United States. We plan to further penetrate existing suburban markets, expand our presence in small markets and begin to develop urban markets. We have a solid track record of executing an aggressive store growth program and a rigorous analytical approach to site selection that has translated into a high performing real estate portfolio. We expect to open approximately 100 new stores per year for the next several years. In addition to store expansion, we expect to significantly grow our e-commerce sales. Our e-commerce platform has two key roles: generating direct channel sales and profits, while communicating with our guests in an interactive, enjoyable way that reinforces the Ulta Beauty brand driving traffic to our stores, website, and native applications. Our omni-channel guests are extremely valuable, spending nearly three times as much as retail only guests. We continue to develop and add new website features and functionality, marketing programs, product assortment, new brands and omni-channel integration points. We intend to establish ourselves as a leading online beauty resource by providing our guests with a rich online experience for information on key trends and products, editorial content, expanded assortments, best in class features and functionality, interactive experiences and social media content. We also continue to improve our order fulfillment capabilities with increased speed of delivery through new distribution centers and efficient processes designed for e-commerce fulfillment.
Deliver operational excellence and drive efficiencies
Invest in infrastructure to support our guest experience and growth and capture scale efficiencies: We expect to continue to grow enterprise inventory capabilities to better anticipate and respond to our guests’ demand across all channels. This includes optimizing our distribution network, improving inventory turns by moving product faster and more frequently through all channels and improving inventory visibility, forecast accuracy, and managing product life cycle through investments in people, process and technology. We also plan to invest in guest-facing labor hours, training and tools to deliver a differentiated and personalized guest experience. We expect to capture operational efficiencies in new enterprise inventory capabilities to help fund investments in additional store labor and other in-store technologies. We will also pursue opportunities to optimize our marketing spend to maximize effectiveness. Finally, we plan to drive scale and cost efficiencies across the enterprise.
Invest in talent that drives a winning culture: guest and associate centric, values-based, high performance
Talent that drives a winning culture: Leadership, culture and engagement of our associates are key drivers of our performance. We have an experienced management team that brings a creative merchandising approach and a disciplined operating philosophy to our business. Our well-trained, non-commissioned store associates are highly engaged and delivering a differentiated guest experience. We continue to expand the depth of our team at all levels and in all functional areas to support our growth.