Ulta Beauty sales recover to pre-pandemic levels with 60% spike

Sales for Q2 beat out results from 2019, prior to the outbreak of Covid-19

Ulta expects to open 44 new stores for the remainder of 2021

As economies across the world continue to recover from the effects of Covid-19, net sales at the US’ biggest beauty retailer Ulta Beauty have bounced back to pre-pandemic level.

For Q2, the 13 weeks ended 31 July, the retailer’s sales spiked 60% to US$2bn, beating out 2019’s figures with sales earning the company $1.6bn.

Coupled with months of lockdown across the country and a decline in appetite for cosmetics, net sales in 2020 fell by 26% to $1.2bn.

According to the company’s results, transactions throughout Q2 increased 52% compared to the same period in 2020, and average spending among customers was also up 2.5%.

The successful three months have boosted Ulta’s gross profit for the first six months for fiscal 2021 to $1.6bn, compared with almost half that figure the previous year.

“The Ulta Beauty team delivered strong results for the second quarter,” said Dave Kimbell, Chief Executive of the beauty chain, who succeeded Mary Dillon in June.

“This performance reflects the recovery of the beauty category, investments and choices we’ve made over the last year to adapt to the market disruption and strengthen our leadership position, and the ongoing efforts of our associates to deliver great experiences for our guests.

“Our value proposition is strong, and we are evolving and innovating to lead in the new beauty landscape, capture additional market share and drive profitable growth.”

Ulta’s impressive figures can be pointed to the retailer’s investment in bricks-and-mortar.

During Q2, Ulta opened seven new stores across the US; it also relocated one store, remodeled five and closed just one.

Meanwhile, during the first six months of fiscal 2021, the company added 35 new stores to its entourage, while only closing three, bringing its total to 1,296 outlets.

Based on these results, Ulta has increased its outlook for the remainder of 2021. Net sales are expected to reach between $8.1bn and $8.3bn, up from $7.7bn to $7.8bn.

Four more stores than first predicted are also expected to open over the next six months, which, if carried out, will bring the retailer’s total to 1,340.

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