Ulta Beauty: the Journey and Investment

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ULTA Beauty: The Journey and the Investment

Before ULTA entered the beauty market in 1990, a woman would have to go to multiple stores to find cosmetic, fragrance, and salon products. ULTA has become a woman’s one-stop-beauty department store, they house everything from brands such as Revlon to Estée Lauder, products such as nail polish to specialty shampoos, and they even offer makeup and hair services. In this industry of beauty there are many competitors and companies must stay ahead of their competition, ULTA has done this and more. At the same time they have to foresee any future problems while they continue to grow and find ways to overcome the barriers. Being a lover of cosmetics investing in a company such as ULTA would seem a no brainer, but with investment there is much more to explore other than what you like. Starting out as a beauty discount retailer in 1990 ULTA found their niche and capitalized on it, by giving their customers unique experiences ULTA has become the largest beauty retailer in the US today. The founders of ULTA, originally named Ulta3, created a discount beauty department store and full service hair and nail salon. When they first stated out they had products that were discounted up to 50% of the suggested retail price, they would even match prices from competitors. During this time they faced competition from cosmetic companies, such as Cosmetic Center. In December 1999 ULTA hired Lyn Kirby as president and chief executive. With her experience 20 plus years experience in the corporate cosmetics world Kirby transformed ULTA from a discount cosmetics brand to a “retailer offering affordable indulgence rather than discount prices”, as she told MMR magazine in 2001. This change seemed to be what women wanted, by having sales increased by nearly 20% in 2003 and expansion with 150 stores in 19 states. Reaching fiscal stability and having a steady growth plan in October 2007 ULTA became a publicly traded company. They opened at $33...
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