BEAUTY CARE

Ulta’s Q4, full-year earnings lay groundwork for continued store growth

BY Marianne Wilson

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. — Ulta Beauty on Thursday reported a stellar fourth quarter that shows why many consider it one of the hottest retailers in the United States.  

The beauty products retailer also said it would open approximately 100 net new stores in 2017, and remodel 13 locations.   
    
Ulta Beauty’s net income for the quarter, ended Jan. 30, surged 30% to a better-than-expected $140.2 million, from $107.8 million in the year-ago period.

Net sales jumped 24.6% to $1.6 billion, also better than expected.

Total same-store sales, which include online commerce, rose 16.6%, driven by 10.9% growth in transactions and 5.7% growth in average ticket.

E-commerce sales grew 63.4% to $154.9 million from $94.8 million last year, representing 380 basis points of the total company comparable sales increase of 16.6%.

“The Ulta Beauty team delivered outstanding fourth quarter results, capping an exceptional year of sales and earnings growth while investing to drive market share gains and create sustainable long-term shareholder value,” said Mary Dillon, CEO, Ulta Beauty, which had 974 stores at the end of the fourth quarter. “We are confident in our outlook for continued success in 2017 … Our new brand pipeline is very healthy and we are particularly excited to announce the addition of the Estée Lauder Companies’ MAC brand, which will launch on Ulta.com and begin to roll out to stores this spring.”

The retailer offered a light forecast for its first quarter, saying it expects revenue in the range of $1.24 billion to $1.26 billion. Analysts had expected revenue of $1.28 billion.

For the full year, Ulta Beauty’s net income increased 28.0% to $409.8 million and net sales increased 23.7% to $4.9 billion. Same-store increased 15.8%, driven by 10.7% growth in transactions and 5.1% growth in average ticket. Retail comparable sales increased 13.4%.

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E.l.f. Beauty enjoying strong growth

BY Brian Berk

OAKLAND, Calif. — E.l.f. Beauty has struck gold by appealing to millennials, makeup enthusiasts and the Hispanic population. The company, which markets beauty products to all woman and whose products are in CVS, Target, Walmart and its own stores, saw net revenues increase 17% year over year in its fiscal fourth quarter. Adjusted net income rose by 36% year over year.

“Our first strategy is to build a great brand [and] e.l.f is an authentic brand that young diverse makeup enthusiasts love,” CEO Tarang Amin said Wednesday during the company’s earnings conference call. “Relative to the overall cosmetics category, we are twice as developed among millennial, over developed among Hispanics and have strong appeal was make-up enthusiasts. The consumers are driving categories. We know how to engage these consumers and they are our best advocates.”

Amin also credited its Beauty Scape influencer program for a strong fourth quarter. “We hosted a special e.l.f holiday celebration in Los Angeles with influencers or select base under their authentic ties to e.l.f. The event reached a combined audience of 76 million and helped us cross the 2 million follower remarks on Instagram. Through these activations we believe we can further build awareness and deepen engagement with our consumers.”

E.l.f’s loyalty program, Beauty Squad, was yet another sign of growth. “During the fourth quarter, we more than doubled enrollment and now have over a 190,000 Beauty Squad members. On average, these consumers shop elfcosmetics.com 30% more often and purchase 50% more during each visit versus non-members. We are enthusiastic about the potential of Beauty Squad to build deeper relationships with our consumers.”

2017 could see even bigger growth, with net sales expected to increase by 24% to 28%, Amin concluded.

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EcoTools partners with Vanessa Hudgens on #MyTrueBeauty campaign

BY David Salazar
GURNEE, Ill. — Beauty accessory brand EcoTools is teaming up with actress Vanessa Hudgens for its eight-week #MyTrueBeauty campaign. The mobile tour will allow guests to see EcoTools’ New Modern Eco collection and learn from makeup artists and experts about various makeup application areas. 
 
"I am thrilled to collaborate with EcoTools to bring more awareness to the amazing #MyTrueBeauty campaign, which is all about having the confidence to live in your own beauty, love who you are, and make a beautiful impact on the world," Hudgens said. "I love trying new looks and styles, but knowing where to start can be overwhelming. The #MyTrueBeauty tour aims to help women make their beauty routines more approachable and have fun with their look."
 
As part of the campaign and its collaboration with Glamour’s The Girl Project, EcoTools will be donating $100,000 for its second year to the girls’ education initiative for the second year. It also is releasing three limited-edition brush sets:
 
  • Prepped for Change — a set that includes a facial scrubber to cleanse the skin, and four other brushes for priming, airbrushing, concealing, blurring and setting;
  • Eye Am Courageous — an eight-piece set that includes flat liner, round shadow, define crease, detailer and micro blending brushes, as well as detailer tweezers, a brow stencil and brow groomer; and
  • Glow for it — a six-piece set with eye shadow and shading brushes, pointed concealer and angled powder brushes, a highlighting fan and mini-mirror. 
"The essence of the #MyTrueBeauty campaign is to help women embrace and celebrate beauty and confidence in themselves and one another," Paris Presents senior director of marketing Stacey Ramstedt said. "Our work with Vanessa Hudgens and The Girl Project continue to drive beauty through every definition, and this year's mobile tour will allow EcoTools fans and friends to continue to explore their own beauty and potential."
 
The #MyTrueBeauty campaign starts April 18 with its first stop in New York City, with its tour set to hit such cities as Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago. Visitors can receive five-minute mini-makeovers, brush education, photo opportunities and beauty tutorials. Some stops will feature opportunities to meet EcoTool beauty ambassador and Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields, as well as social ambassador Alex Garza. 
 
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