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Ulta Beauty to open smaller stores inside U.S. Target locations

Target and Ulta are both aiming to reach new guests during the pandemic

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Photo (c) jimkruger - Getty Images
Ulta Beauty announced Tuesday that it will open smaller versions of its stores inside hundreds of Target locations nationwide. 

Target CEO Brian Cornell said shoppers will start seeing these mini Ulta stores -- dubbed “Ulta Beauty at Target” -- starting in the second half of 2021. The stores will be about 1,000 square feet and will feature a “curated” selection of makeup, skincare products, and fragrances available in Ulta’s standalone locations. 

“We couldn’t be happier about bringing these two trusted brands together to redefine retail beauty experiences,” Cornell said in a statement. “This matchup brings Ulta Beauty’s coveted prestige beauty assortment, category expertise and guest loyalty together with Target’s high-growth beauty business and the ease and convenience of our industry-leading fulfillment services.” 

Products can be purchased in the store, brought to a customer’s car using the retailer’s curbside pickup option, or delivered to a customer’s home through Shipt. 

The "planned locations will complement Ulta Beauty’s current store footprint, welcoming new guests to the brand and building upon Target’s existing assortment of beauty options,” Target said in a news release. 

‘Shop-in-shop’ concept

Ulta CEO Mary Dillon said in the release that the concept "reflects further evolution in our omnichannel strategy, rooted in unlocking the potential of our physical and digital footprints, creating more seamless shopping opportunities for our loyal guests and continuing to lead the beauty industry."

The pandemic took a financial toll on Ulta after it was forced to close stores in the spring, but Dillon said the retailer is now “embracing a time of change to innovate and to lead.”

The new Ulta locations in Target stores will have COVID-19-friendly virtual try-on features. 

“The shop-in-shop is expected to be enhanced with Ulta Beauty’s immersive, in-store digital discovery tools such as GLAMLab, a virtual try-on tool that provides safe trial across beauty categories,” the news release said. 

Ulta’s smaller shops will initially debut at more than 100 Target locations and online next year, but the two stores have plans to "scale to hundreds more over time." 

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