BOLINGBROOK, Ill. Beauty retailer Ulta announced on Thursday that holiday same-store sales increased 7.9% and, due to the boost in sales, it has increased its fourth-quarter fiscal 2009 outlook.
Total sales for the seven-week holiday period from Nov. 15, 2009, to Jan. 2, 2010, were $262.2 million, an 18.2% increase from the prior-year holiday period of $221.9 million. Same-store sales increased 7.9%, compared with a 5.8% decrease during the same-period in the prior year, resulting in a two-year, same-store sales increase of 2.1%.
“The combination of dynamic marketing, compelling offerings and enticing value drove an 8.8% increase in customer traffic, which led to a better-than-expected performance for the holiday season. The period also benefited from a less promotional gift-giving environment across retail versus last year, especially in apparel,” stated Lyn Kirby, Ulta’s president and CEO. “As a result, we improved our merchandise margin and leveraged our marketing spend as a percentage of net sales, as compared to last year. Based on our holiday results, we have raised our fourth-quarter expectations for sales and earnings.”
Driven by favorable holiday sales, the company currently expects fourth-quarter fiscal 2009 net sales in the range of $388 million to $392 million, versus its previous guidance for fourth-quarter fiscal 2009 net sales in the range of $362 million to $376 million. Fourth-quarter fiscal 2008 net sales were $341.4 million.