BEAUTY CARE

Ulta reports increase in holiday sales, raises outlook

BY Antoinette Alexander

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.

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CoverGirl launches ‘CoverGirl Clean Makeup for Clean Water’ campaign

BY Antoinette Alexander

HUNT VALLEY, Md. CoverGirl’s Clean brand makeup has partnered with the Children’s Safe Drinking Water program to launch the “CoverGirl Clean Makeup for Clean Water” campaign and has donated $500,000 to the organization.

According to Dr. Greg Allgood, director of CSDW, which is dedicated to addressing the global need for clean, safe drinking water, the donation by CoverGirl will provide 50 million liters of clean water to children in need around the world. The campaign will deliver clean, purified drinking water to needy areas via low-cost PUR packet technology that purifies even heavily contaminated drinking water so it meets World Health Organization standards for safe drinking water.

“Women who use CoverGirl Clean Makeup products value inner as well as outer beauty and are sensitive to the needs in the world,” stated Vince Hudson, marketing director for CoverGirl at Procter & Gamble Beauty. “CoverGirl Clean Makeup transforms you into your most beautiful you without breaking your wallet. The same is true of the CoverGirl Clean Makeup for Clean Water Campaign: It delivers clean drinking water to needy areas around the world, transforming lives for mere pennies a day. It’s a beautiful thing!”

In September, actor Dania Ramirez, the newest spokesmodel for CoverGirl and the face of CoverGirl Clean Makeup’s new Sensitive Skin formula, returned to her native Dominican Republic to help deliver a year’s supply of clean drinking water to villages in need as part of the campaign.

“I was thrilled to be back in my home country to help CoverGirl deliver clean drinking water,” stated Ramirez. “I know firsthand that a shortage of safe drinking water can be a matter of life or death. When I was growing up, at times we had to boil our water before drinking it so we didn?t get sick or worse.”

In the Dominican Republic, Ramirez and CoverGirl joined forces with CSDW and Population Services International, an organization that works in partnership with CSDW across Latin America and helped facilitate the delivery of clean drinking water in the Dominican Republic for the CoverGirl Clean Makeup for Clean Water Campaign.

CoverGirl also is making it possible for consumers to join the global effort. Consumers can now enter an online contest by submitting a short video explaining how they give back to make the world a better place and why this makes them beautiful inside and out. For each entry received, CoverGirl will provide one week’s worth of clean drinking water to a child in need.

Entrants also have a chance to win a humanitarian trip to Africa as part of the next Clean Makeup for Clean Water mission. For more information, visit www.covergirl.com/cleanforclean.

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Neutrogena names winner of Facebook contest

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES Neutrogena Cosmetics has announced the grand-prize winner of its “Flaunt Your Inner Celebrity” Facebook contest.

Rosanna Scali, of Howell, N.J., was treated to a celebrity-style getaway in New York City for a makeover session with Neutrogena Cosmetics Celebrity Make-Up Artist Matin and a professional photo shoot with photographer Wally Shaykhoun.

In her winning essay, Scali described her long hours as an emergency veterinarian and her “pajama style uniform” as reasons why she needed help finding her inner celebrity.

“As an artist I believe foundation is the most important step in achieving a fresh-faced look,” stated Matin. “I was excited to give Rosanna a well-deserved makeover and teach her how to accentuate her natural beauty by creating the perfect canvas.”

Last fall, hundreds of beauty mavens nationwide explained why they deserved to flaunt their inner celebrity via the Neutrogena Cosmetics Page on Facebook. The top 10 first-prize winners also received a Neutrogena Cosmetics prize package worth $250.

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