Ulta Beauty’s Q3 results report sales increase amid store growth
Ulta Beauty’s winning streak continued in the third quarter as it continues to open stores at a rapid clip.
The beauty powerhouse’s net income increased 25.3% to $131.2 million in the quarter ended Oct. 28. Earnings per share increased 28.2% to $2.18, just beating analysts’ estimates of $2.16 per share.
Net sales increased 16.2% to $1.56 billion, in line with estimates. Total same-store sales increased 7.8%, driven by new store growth along with 5.3% transaction growth and 2.5% growth in average ticket. E-commerce sales spiked 42.5% to $170.7 million, representing nearly 11% of total company revenue.
Ulta kept up its heady expansion during the quarter, opening 42 new stores. It also remodeled four existing locations and relocated one unit. The retailer has opened 105 net new stores to date this year.
On the company’s quarterly call, CEO Mary Dillon gave an update on Ulta’s future store plans.
“With increased confidence in the next several years of store growth, we narrowed our U.S. store target range of 1,500 to 1,700,” she said. “And we’ll slightly moderate new store openings in the next few years, with plans to open 80 stores in 2019, 75 stores in 2020 and 70 stores in 2021.”
Dillon explained that the moderation will be in tandem with a greater focus on portfolio repositioning as the company has a large number of store leases coming up for renewal in the next several years.
Despite a strong third quarter, Ulta disappointed analysts with its fourth-quarter outlook. The retailer said it expects revenue of between $2.08 billion and $2.10 billion and earnings per share of between $3.50 and $3.55 The projections fell short of analysts’ estimates of $3.60 in EPS and $2.109 billion in sales.
Ulta ended the quarter with 1,163 stores and square footage of 12,221,878, representing a 9.7% increase in square footage compared to the same period last year.
Gillette Venus, Remi Cruz partner on limited-edition razor
Gillette Venus has joined forces with beauty and lifestyle YouTube personality, Remi Cruz, on a limited-edition razor.
The Venus x Remi tool features a tropical print and sleek handle design, which is unlike any razor released by the brand, the company said.
“When I first started the design process for my Venus x Remi limited-edition razor, I wanted to make sure that the bright colors and tropical flowers everyone is used to seeing in my videos really came through in the design,” Remi Cruz said. “There’s nothing better than silky smooth freshly shaved legs to make you feel confident and the Venus x Remi razor is perfect for that extra boost this holiday season.”
Shoppers can find the Venus x Remi razor through Venus Direct, a subscription service from the brand that offers more than 10 different blades and handles to choose from for various skin types and shaving regimes.
“We want to help every woman feel confident to express herself in her own unique way. For many, that includes how her skin looks and feels, and Venus Direct has a complete range of products to meet her unique needs,” Falguni Desai, leader of the Venus Direct program, said. “She can mix and match to personalize the shaving experience that’s right for her, and have it delivered straight to her door with free shipping whenever she wants it. And now with our limited-edition Venus x Remi design, she can add some unexpected fun to her beauty routine.”
To purchase the razor or further information on the subscription service can be found on the Venus Direct website.
Coty intros Clairol Color Expert for Google Assistant
Coty, the parent company of Clairol, has joined forces with the Google Assistant on Google Home.
The company announced the launch of the Clairol Color Expert, which provides a hands-free, voice-activated guide to the entire at-home hair color process. Everything from finding the right shade to apply color, reapplication and aftercare at home can be found by saying “Hey Google, talk to Clairol.”
Fred Gerantabee, Coty’s vice president of digital innovation, said, “In beauty, service is the new product, and for consumers, the real value of a product is not just what’s in the box, but the expertise and service that comes with it. We worked with Google, who helped us identify insights around known category challenges combined with how (and where) beauty consumers are using voice assistants. By delivering Clairol expertise through the unique Google Assistant ecosystem, we are able to transform the at-home hair color experience and truly help Clairol consumers feel confident that they will get better results with a lifeline and expert at every step of their journey.”
Clairol’s Color Assistant was built by Beamly, Coty’s in-house MarTech agency, and Voxly Digital, a voice developer company.
The Google Assistant allows a wide variety of consumers to access a personalized color assistant across different touchpoints and devices. It also is an important advancement for the at-home hair color category, where consumers often feel overwhelmed by the challenges of coloring their own hair, the company said.