Marriage of Convenience: Ulta Moving Into Target Stores
The world of smell goods is getting a little bigger, with the announcement that Ulta Beauty will be partnering with Target to open some "shop in shops" at select Target stores. The goal is to offer "established and emerging prestige brands" both online and in Target locations starting next year.
The arrangement makes business sense. Target is one of the few brick-and-mortar stores that seems to not only be surviving but also thriving in a retail world dealing with both a pandemic and the assault on physical retail stores by online competitors. It is also a smart pre-emptive move against competitor Victoria's Secret, which has many in mall locations and has been struggling.
The plan is for Ulta Beauty at Target to debut at more than 100 Target stores starting next year (2021), and if those workout, then the plan is to expand to maybe even more than double that number. No specific locations have been announced yet. What's interesting is how this will affect current Ulta stores. The joint release says the planned locations will "complement Ulta Beauty’s current store footprint". Target and Ulta are just steps apart on Kalamazoo's west side in the Maple Hill Pavilion. In Battle Creek and Portage, they are within a short drive of each other. Having a presence in Target stores would seem more likely to be a hedge for Ulta should their own brick and mortar stores begin to see drops in-store traffic and in sales.
Here's another interesting find in the release. It says Target will be hiring additional personnel to staff these sites. More jobs is always a good thing.