BEAUTY CARE

Ulta sees solid double-digit sales gains during holiday season

BY Antoinette Alexander

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. — Beauty retailer Ulta Beauty posted a same-store sales increase of 12.6% during the seven-week holiday period.

Total net sales for the seven-week holiday period, from Nov. 13 to Dec. 31, were $386 million, a 24.4% increase from the prior-year holiday period of $310.4 million. Comparable store-sales for the 2011 holiday period increased 12.6%, compared with a 9.5% increase during the same period in the prior year. Over a two-year period, comparable store sales increased 22.1%.

”We delivered an excellent holiday season, with comparable store sales growth of 12.6% balanced across categories and brands, continuing our strong momentum from the first nine months of the year. We believe, once again, that we gained market share across our major categories driven by our consistent ability to capitalize on current trends and introduce newness, elevate our guest experience with exciting in-store events and traffic-driving communications to our loyal customer base,” Ulta president and CEO Chuck Rubin said. “This combined with our great value proposition and strong customer service led to another successful holiday season. As a result of our better-than-expected performance, we have raised our fourth quarter outlook and now expect to report full year fiscal 2011 diluted earnings per share in a range of $1.84 to $1.85, an increase of approximately 59% compared to fiscal year 2010.”

In light of the favorable holiday sales, the company is increasing its fourth quarter fiscal 2011 outlook provided in conjunction with its third quarter fiscal 2011 results on Dec. 1.

The company now expects fourth quarter fiscal 2011 net sales in the range of $574 million to $579 million, compared with its previous guidance of $552 million to $562 million. Fourth quarter fiscal 2010 net sales were $473.7 million. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 are now expected to increase in a range of 10% to 11%. This compares with the company’s previous expectation for comparable store sales to increase in a range of 6% to 8%. Fourth quarter fiscal 2010 comparable sales increased 10.4%. This updated sales guidance range results in a two-year comparable store sales increase of 20.4% to 21.4%.

Income per diluted share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 is now estimated in the range of 67 cents to 68 cents, as compared with the company’s previous guidance of 62 cents to 64 cents, and actual fiscal 2010 income per diluted share was 49 cents.

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BEAUTY CARE

New report outlines most effective tools to reach women

BY Antoinette Alexander

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Women are increasing the time they spend researching products and are enticed by samples, according to the findings of a new report by Total Beauty Media Group, a digital publisher of beauty and health content.

The new report, entitled "Get Added To The Shopping Cart: How Brands Can Better Engage Women Researching Products Online," provides insights on female shoppers, demonstrating how they engage with brands online.

“The beauty and health product category releases more than 3,000 products each year. Eighty percent are being sold in mass channel retail locations where there is little guidance, which is a great learning for many marketers who want to fine tune how they market to women,” stated Emrah Kovacoglu, founder and CEO of Total Beauty Media Group. “We conducted this research to provide brands with a deeper perspective on the mindset of the female shopper as she’s crafting her shopping list, since that’s a critical point at which her purchase intent can be influenced."
 
The report outlines additional insights, including:

  • Women spend 50% more time researching products online when those products are surrounded by related category content, such as editorial reviews or consumer ratings;
  • 66% of women were brand-specific when they began their research;
  • More than one-third of women could be enticed by a trial; 32% of women indicated that a sample served as a top influential touch point that drove their purchase; and
  • “Top” products matter: 50% of products researched contained “best” rated or reviewed attributes.

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NYC New York Color launches new topcoats for an instant manicure makeover

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Coty’s NYC New York Color brand is introducing in its spring 2012 collection the new Matte Me Crazy and Big City Dazzle Sparkle topcoat for nails.

With the new Matte Me Crazy topcoat, beauty mavens can move from shiny nails to matte for an instant dose of muted modern style by applying a coat of Matte Me Crazy.

Take nails from the office to after-hours with a quick-drying coat of sparkle with the Big City Sparkle topcoat. It can be applied to bare nails for sheer shine effect or layered over a nail color for a bold, eye-catching look.

The new nail products retail for $1.99 each.

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