The secret to Ulta Beauty’s success? Omnichannel done right!
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The secret to Ulta Beauty’s success? Omnichannel done right!

While many traditional retailers are downsizing, or closing entirely, Ulta Beauty is going from strength to strength. Ulta has been opening 100 stores annually for the past several years, and this shows no sign of slowing down. It also saw rising sales last year to $4.9 billion. Perhaps most impressive is its two-pronged approach to retail: online sales were up by 63% in the fourth quarter of 2016, and the company debuted plans to open 700 additional physical locations as well.

Many competitors may well be questioning how the company is doing it, but there’s no secret – Ulta’s CEO Mary Dillon is explicit as to what lies behind the company’s success:

“We offer something no one else offers,” she says. “You come in, you will have an experience that’s about touching products, smelling scents and looking at colours – and that’s hard to do online, you will have services performed by human hands and we make it easy to shop online.”

This simple proposition is resulting in significant growth. Dillon says she is most proud of the jobs Ulta is creating: “about 2,000 jobs a year because of our growth.” It is also fair to say that Dillon herself is responsible for some of this growth – she joined the company four years ago, and a good deal of the success followed her appointment.

According to Dillon, listening to employees is paramount to Ulta Beauty’s operations. She told CBS News that Ulta’s success was “the result of a lot of people doing a lot of great things,” and stressed that she doesn’t take them for granted.

“On our leadership team, we put our associates at the center of everything we do and we ask their opinion,” she says. So far, it seems those opinions have been valuable indeed.

Dominion holds Ulta Beauty in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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