Luxury Cosmetics Brand: Ulta Beauty

The American cosmetics and beauty supply chain Ulta Beauty sells skincare, beauty tools, nail products, haircare, and women’s and men’s fragrances. In 1990, Ulta3, the corporation, was created by Richard E. George. Its present administrative center is located in Bolingbrook, Illinois. Almost 35,000 of the company’s 45,000 workers are women.

Ulta Beauty has opened more than 1,260 shops across the United States. Their retail locations sell over 25,000 unique items, with hundreds being Ulta Beauty originals. Additionally, they stock almost 500 well-known luxury brands. Salons, brow bars, and skin bars are available at every Ulta Beauty location. In 2016, it brought in $4.8 billion in sales and $409.8 billion in profit.

The Establishment of Ulta Beauty

Ulta Beauty began in 1989 when Richard E. George and Terry Hanson, two executives at Osco Drug pharmacies, decided to leave. The original concept for what is now known as Ulta Beauty came from the mind of the company’s former president, George.

In George’s opinion, consumers should be able to find both budget and high-end options in one place. George and Hanson, along with a few other former coworkers, raised $11.5 million and opened five stores in Naperville, Morton Grove, Lombard, Arlington Heights, and Mount Prospect in 1990. This marked the beginning of Ulta.

To foster expansion, the team had to prioritize service and convenience early on. Customers needed to be able to browse a wide selection of products at a variety of price points while also benefiting from knowledgeable staff members’ insights into the merits of various brands.

The inside of an Ulta store in Dublin, California

Ulta Beauty’s Meteoric Rise to Success

George and Hanson carefully planned out and did thorough research before starting the company. They discovered that most female customers favored stores with a large selection of cosmetics. Both luxury brands like Estée Lauder and Lancôme and affordable drugstore brands like Cover Girl and Maybelline were represented.

Dental floss, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other health and beauty aids, including vitamins, were among the first products marketed by the firm. After determining that its cosmetics division was where its actual profits were, the company decided to stop carrying these accessories in 1994. During this time, salons also began to provide more enclosed areas for customers to try out different products.

After George departed from the firm in 1994, Hanson served as president for another eight years. While Hanson did resign in 2002, he remained on the board until 2008.

Over time, the massive increase in revenue and number of clients allowed the business to expand rapidly. Mary N. Dillon, an American entrepreneur, has been CEO since 2013. The firm oversees over 45,000 workers and has recently generated $7.4 billion in net revenues.


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What Ulta Beauty is Known For

Ulta Beauty is a beauty shop noted for selling a large selection of items across several categories, including cosmetics, skincare, hair care, perfumes, and bath & body products. Ulta Beauty’s famous brands are NYX Professional Makeup, Maybelline, L’Oreal, Benefit Cosmetics, and Too Faced. In addition to these well-known names, Ulta Beauty provides various private-label items, such as the Ulta Beauty Collection and the Ulta Beauty Makeup Collection.

Ulta Beauty has been so successful in part because it stocks items from both luxury and budget lines. With this strategy, the business may attract shoppers on all ends of the price spectrum, from those looking for bargains to those who are willing to splurge on high-end luxuries.


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The Type of Products That Ulta Beauty Offer

When it comes to cosmetics, Ulta Beauty has you covered with a vast selection of foundations, concealers, primers, powders, blushes, bronzers, highlighters, and eyeshadows. Lipsticks, glosses, and balms are all available, among other lip care products.

  • Hair care products from Matrix, Redken, and Paul Mitchell are just some of the names you’ll find at Ulta Beauty. Hair styling products like curling irons, flat irons, and blow dryers are also available.
  • Ulta Beauty’s fragrance selection includes top names like Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, and Marc Jacobs, among many more. They have scented candles, room sprays, and perfume roller balls.
  • Ulta Beauty’s skincare selection caters to a wide range of needs, from acne-prone skin to dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, and everything in between. Various skincare products from well-known companies like Olay, Neutrogena, and Dermalogica are available, including cleansers, toners, exfoliators, serums, moisturizers, and masks.
  • Ulta Beauty’s bath and body section feature items from companies like Bath & Body Works, The Body Shop, and OGX. They have a wide selection of nail polishes, hand creams, and foot creams for your personal grooming needs.


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Facts You Should Know About Ulta Beauty

  • It wasn’t until 2017 that the company was named “Ulta Beauty.”  Previously, in 1990, the company’s founders decided on the name Ulta3. In 1999, the number three was deleted from the name to make way for the more inclusive Ulta Salons, Cosmetics & Fragrances. In 2017, it rebranded as what is currently known as Ulta Beauty.
  • It has more than 500 items in its beauty selection. Ulta Beauty is known mainly for distributing items from other, more prestigious brands. Still, the company also has its own line of cosmetics.
  • Various nonprofit organizations receive funding from the company. Ulta Beauty has worked with organizations like Save the Children, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Set up Women’s Network to support girls’ education and family sustainability. Since partnering with Dress for Success in 2017, this organization has helped hundreds of women gain economic independence by providing them with business clothes and other resources. Ulta Beauty is committed to supporting local communities and has donated time, resources, and goods to local community organizations focusing on family and child care. Ulta Beauty has a program called the Associate Relief Program to assist employees experiencing financial hardship.
  • Ulta is one of the three major donors to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. A total of over $22 million from the company has been donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. It is currently funding 16 BRCF initiatives that could lead to significant breakthroughs.
  • Ulta Beauty is ranked as one of America’s Best Employers for Women. Among Ulta Beauty’s 45,000 employees, women make up 92%. Forbes and Statista selected Ulta Beauty as the top company to work for women in 2019. This was based on responses from employers who were asked to rate their workplaces on various factors, including pay, benefits, diversity, and working conditions.
  • Ulta Beauty’s 21 Days of Beauty is anticipated annually by those interested in cosmetics. Discounts average 75% off retail price over the 21-day sale period. Up to half-off discounts on four or five items daily are possible during the deals.

Ulta Beauty’s overall success can be traced to the balance between the store’s extensive product selection, its dedication to providing a positive shopping experience, and its one-of-a-kind business model. Ulta has been able to use the power of digital marketing from its foundation, making it one of the world’s most successful and well-liked retailers of beauty products.