Ulta Magnificence Unveils New Retailer Format – WWD

How do you cap off a stellar yr? With a makeover, in fact.

Ulta Beauty, whose gross sales elevated 21 % within the first quarter of the yr and nearly 17 % within the second, has unveiled a brand new retailer design which considerably shakes up its conventional method to merchandising.

Somewhat than segmenting manufacturers by value and channel, i.e., status, mass {and professional}, Ulta’s new design presents manufacturers in a class by class method with a format that allows the retailer to extra distinctly put forth its personal viewpoint.

“We at all times need to reimagine and rethink and, most significantly, take a look at what our company are sharing with us,” mentioned Monica Arnaudo, chief merchandising officer, of the impetus behind the brand new retailer design. “We need to assist our company higher navigate our shops and encourage them alongside the best way. We wished to convey like classes collectively — what we name intuitive adjacencies — and create aspiration for our company once they stroll within the door.”

Cue the New is the primary space company see upon entry.

Richard Cadan Images

The brand new format is noticeable on the entry, the place Ulta is taking a extra thematic and fewer promotional or brand-centric method to merchandising. “Now we have elevated and up to date the esthetic. What tales will we need to inform? What are the themes we need to discuss?” Arnaudo mentioned. “We’re embracing what the manufacturers are bringing us, however sharing it from an Ulta perspective. It’s extra thematic and simpler for company to navigate, and extra inspiring.”

As earlier than, the shop is split into two sides, however quite than be divided into status and mass sides, as is presently the case, all sides of the shop will now home completely different classes.

The primary space company will encounter known as Cue the New, with three devoted gondalas the place manufacturers which can be launching shall be featured. The gondola design is versatile and might accommodate quite a lot of completely different configurations. “So if we’ve got three huge manufacturers launching, it is perhaps three. If there are 5, we are able to accommodate that — it could possibly be three make-up and two perfume manufacturers, for instance,” Arnaudo mentioned.

Straight behind Cue the New shall be skincare, situated on the left aspect in most shops. Status skincare shall be furthest to the entrance, flowing into masstige and derm manufacturers immediately behind it, adopted by mass skincare. The general quantity of house being devoted to skincare has been elevated, too, Arnaudo mentioned.

Tub and physique care follows skincare, the place the Wellness Wall will also be discovered. From there, the combination goes to hair instruments, hair equipment and hair care.

On the opposite aspect of the shop, the suitable aspect in most places, will stay make-up. As with skincare, the manufacturers will stream from status to masstige to mass, with Ulta’s personal model on a gondola that could be a “segue from status to mass,” Arnaudo mentioned.

Ulta’s executives have additionally rethought the middle of the shop, the “heartbeat,” as Arnaudo referred to as it. Right here, there shall be elevated gondolas for Clinique, Estée Lauder and Lancôme, enabling every to merchandise make-up and skincare collectively.

Behind these lie MAC and Profit, the so-called service manufacturers, the place consumers can interact in makeovers and forehead companies, which leads into a brand new space: The Beauty Bar.

“Right here, we’ll have the power to do occasions — they could possibly be branded occasions or class occasions. There shall be plenty of activations,” Arnaudo mentioned.

The Magnificence Bar leads into Impulse, for travel- and trial-sized merchandise, which then goes into the check-out space, which is situated behind the shop. Different highlighted sections embrace Aware Magnificence, for clear manufacturers, in addition to a brand new “hero” wall for skincare, the place the top-selling or most-loved merchandise from a number of manufacturers shall be highlighted.

Companies will happen on the Magnificence Bar.

Richard Cadan Images

Ulta’s salon, which has been up to date with extra aspirational visuals, a seating space and highlighted menu, shall be behind check-out.

All through, Ulta has modernized visuals and graphics, and  added excessive degree navigation in order that consumers can extra simply discover what they’re searching for. “The constant suggestions we acquired from company was that they wished improved navigation,” Arnaudo mentioned. “We would like our company to have the ability to spend time taking part in and discovering, not looking for the place one thing is. They need it to be simple and intuitive.”

Ulta will open or rework about 44 shops with the brand new look this yr, together with in Jacksonville, Florida; Fairfax, Virginia, and Austin, Texas. New shops, of which 50 are projected to open subsequent yr, in addition to these slated for remodels, will all have the up to date structure.

Arnaudo mentioned so far model response has been optimistic. “They love the cohesiveness we’re bringing. They perceive that we promote many manufacturers throughout value factors, and that we have to assist company navigate,” she mentioned. “On the identical time, we’re actually respectful of our status and mass manufacturers and the way we stream it. It’s not a mashup. It’s not a mix-up. It’s very considerate within the stream.”

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