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Super Beauty Stores Combine Shopping with Personal Care Services, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Retailers such as Ulta Beauty, Inc. and Sephora offer wide varieties of beauty products, cosmetics, skin care products and perfumes in addition to services such as makeovers.  Prestige brands such as Lancome and Clinique are offered as are mass-market brands like Maybelline and CoverGirl.  Samples and vibrant displays boost shopper engagement. 
Super beauty stores also offer startup beauty product brands a forum and exposure they are unlikely to get at department stores or beauty supply stores.  As opposed to department stores, these beauty retailers offer a wider variety of products and perks such as loyalty programs, beauty classes and in-store events, all focused on the beauty needs of consumers.
Sephora, owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, offers carefully curated brands, including independent brands, emerging brands, classic brands and the company’s own SEPHORA COLLECTION brand.  Sephora operates approximately 3,000 stores in 36 countries worldwide.  The Sephora PRO Team is an elite group of makeup artists hand-picked for their skill, creativity and ability to inspire others via education in the form of demonstrations, makeovers and beauty tips.  The PRO Team provides its educational tips via social media, in-store and at local and national client events.
Ulta (formerly Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc.) is one of the largest one-stop beauty retailers of both prestige and mass market beauty products, as well as offering salon products and salon services.  Throughout its stores located across the U.S., Ulta offers more than 20,000 prestige and mass-market beauty products, organized by category and in such a manner that encourages customers to play with, touch, test and learn about them.  In addition, every Ulta store offers a full-service salon combining hair and beauty services with the sale of a wide range of salon hair care products.  In some locations, Ulta offers facial services and “brow bars” for eyebrow waxing, tinting and shaping.  
Ulta views itself as a destination retailer, locating its stores in high-traffic, off-mall locations, such as power shopping centers and lifestyle centers.  With an approximate average size of 10,000 square feet and an open store layout, the company believes it is able to respond to consumer trends and changes in merchandising strategy with great flexibility.  Ulta offers a loyalty program, Ultamate Rewards, with more than 23 million active members.
Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Barney’s department store chains are testing major changes and enhancements to their cosmetics marketing.  This is a full-scale effort to battle massive competition from online sellers of cosmetics and fragrances.  In recent years, Bloomingdale’s launched a completely remodeled cosmetics and beauty department that includes 36,000 square feet of space on the ground, plus niche departments on three additional floors, in their massive flagship store on 59th Street in Manhattan.  The space is more open and inviting than the old cosmetics department.  There is also a greatly expanded “Fragrance Hall.”  Customers are able to book appointments to have their makeup done on-site, and they can choose from more than 200 beauty brands in the store.  A spa on the third floor offers facials and other services.  This redesign has clearly developed to compete with the services offered by beauty super store Ulta.  Macy’s also owns its own chain of 158 free-standing cosmetics stores called Bluemercury (Macy’s acquired Bluemercury, a chain of makeup, skincare and spa services stores in 2015 which Macy’s has since expanded).


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