Mass retailer Target Corp. announced on Tuesday a strategic, long-term partnership with Ulta Beauty to create a store-within-a store concept offering established and emerging prestige beauty brands online and in select Target locations nationwide beginning next year.
The partnership brings Ulta Beauty's best-in-class beauty authority to millions of guests seeking out the ease and convenience of Target's one-stop shopping experience, according to the two companies. It also provides beauty brands an opportunity to expand and grow in a new omnichannel retail experience.
"The durable strategy we have built has made Target a top retail destination. The ease and convenience of our stores and fulfillment services provide broad reach and relevance for the curated brands our guests love," said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Minneapolis-based Target. "In partnership with Ulta Beauty, a company that shares our deep guest focus, we are able to expand our growing beauty business with new, exciting brands, an immersive experience, and loyalty benefits to transform how our guests shop for all their beauty needs."
Ulta Beauty at Target will debut at more than 100 Target locations starting in 2021, with plans to scale to hundreds more over time. 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.
The distinctive, branded shop-in-shop will operate as an extension of the Ulta Beauty experience, mirroring the retailers' existing stores and designed to discover established and emerging prestige brands. With approximately 1,000 square feet of retail space, Ulta Beauty at Target will be prominently located next to the existing beauty section.
To bring Ulta Beauty's expertise and guest-centric experiences to life, the company will train newly hired Target team members to serve as experts on prestige beauty offerings, aligning to Target's focus on providing guest service with deep product expertise. 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.
Guests who shop Ulta Beauty at Target online will enjoy free shipping available for qualifying orders as well as Target's same-day fulfillment services, Drive Up, Order Pickup and Shipt same-day delivery at participating store locations. Drive-Up and Order Pickup are free on all orders.
Target operates nearly 1,900 stores offering mass merchandise, apparel, beauty supplies and groceries. Ulta Beauty, based in Bolingbrook, Ill., operates 1,124 stores nationwide.
In an analysts’ note, Jefferies commented, “At the headline level, this is a win-win, pairing a leader in beauty curation (Ulta) with a leader in mass merchandising (Target). Together, Target & Ulta have 100M active loyalty members — with some assumed overlap. Target has distinguished itself from its grocery & mass peers through elevated merchandising, private label brands & collaborations, and superior omnichannel exeuction. Ulta indexes highly in emerging ‘beauty enthusiast’ cohorts, esp. Gen Z/teens, Latinx, and unofficial micro-influencers (individuals who influence their small circle of friends via social media).”