BEAUTY CARE

Ulta appoints seasoned retail executive as president, COO

BY Antoinette Alexander

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. Beauty retailer Ulta has appointed former Office Depot executive Chuck Rubin to serve as president and COO.

Rubin, who also will serve as a member of the board, will assume his new role on May 10. Following a transition period of up to four months, Rubin will become CEO. Lyn Kirby will continue as CEO through the transition period, and thereafter will provide guidance and counsel as a member of the company’s board of directors through March 17, 2011.

“We are delighted to attract Chuck to Ulta as president and COO. Chuck’s extensive retail background and knowledge of retailing will be highly valuable to us as the company continues to execute its proven strategy and maintain its successful track record of growth,” stated Kirby. “Chuck is joining us at an opportune time with this established platform for future growth. One of my key priorities is to ensure a smooth transition in leadership and continue our strong performance. I am looking forward to providing insight and perspective to Chuck as well as assisting Ulta to reach its goals and objectives, as a member of our board of directors.”

Rubin comes to the 348-store beauty chain with 30 years of retail experience. He joined Office Depot in 2004 as EVP and chief merchandise and marketing officer, rising to president North American retail in 2006. Prior to joining Office Depot, he spent six years at Accenture Consulting in senior leadership roles including partner. At Accenture, he advised clients and led engagements across retail formats and e-commerce businesses. He has extensive experience building partnerships and with key brands ranging from mass market to prestige in both the specialty and department store channels.

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Gillette expands Venus brand portfolio

BY Allison Cerra

BOSTON Gillette’s female shaving brand once again is expanding its portfolio to give women the closest shave yet.

Venus’ new Venus Embrace Disposables, the brand’s first five-bladed disposable razor, feature five curve-hugging blades, a protective ribbon of moisture with five times more glide enhancers than the original Venus, and a ComfortGrip handle for increased control while shaving. Additionally, Venus is debuting Simply Venus Disposables, which feature a three-bladed pivoting head to provide a closer shave with less irritation than two-bladed Venus disposable razors.

Other product updates and innovations include:

  • Venus Spa Breeze Disposable razors, the first 2-in-1 disposable razor, with built-in shave gel bars infused with a white tea scent, eliminating the need for a separate shave gel
  • An updated line of three-bladed Venus Disposables, in the same range of vibrant colors and fragrances as the original, but with an improved handle for better maneuverability in wet and soapy environments
  • Venus Embrace razor, with five blades and a protective ribbon of moisture, now is available with a new vibrant pink SoftGrip gel hand
  • Venus Bikini trimmer features a single blade encased by a protective comb for safe and effective bikini hair trimming
  • Satin Care shave gels have been reformulated to provide up to 35% more glide than previous variants
  • Satin Care In-Shower Moisturizer hydrates and conditions skin after shaving, sealing in moisture to provide satiny-smooth legs right out of the shower.

“At Venus we really seek to understand the unique needs of women, and to deliver a variety of superior products to meet those needs,” said James Pratt, marketing director for Venus. “We also see the opportunity to educate about how, with the right tools, women can improve the shaving experience that many see as a chore. Ultimately, it’s about delivering the smooth, soft skin that we know will help women feel more confident and beautiful.”

Venus products are available at food, drug and mass at retail prices, ranging from $3.99 to $15.99, depending on the product.

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BCBG Max Azria to launch fragrance

BY Allison Cerra

VERNON, Calif. Clothing company BCBG Max Azria has inked a licensing deal with New Wave Fragrances, a manufacturer and worldwide distributor of fine fragrances and beauty-related products.

The BCBG Max Azria fragrance for women will launch in March 2011 in BCBG Max Azria branded boutiques worldwide, national department stores, and more than 1,000 specialty stores nationwide, including Sephora and Ulta.

Always on the forefront of fashion, BCBG Max Azria is the premiere lifestyle collection for today’s modern woman. Reconciling creativity with accessibility and desirability with wearability, BCBG Max Azria occupies a unique position in American fashion, offering sophisticated, confident designs that take consumers from work to weekend in style. “We are thrilled to be partnering with New Wave Fragrances,” said Max Azria, founder, designer and CEO of BCBG Max Azria Group.  “Their expertise in the beauty arena and creative vision make them the perfect match as our fragrance licensee.”

New Wave, which has worked with such companies as Parlux Fragrances, Orlane and Max Factor, said the new partnership will allow New Wave to “translate [Max and Lubov Azria’s] creative and fashion vision into fragrance.”

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