Ulta to take on rival Sephora with marketing campaign

The US retails is attempting to raise its profile across the country

US retailer Ulta is aiming to increase its share of the US market with an extensive marketing campaign.

Dave Kimbell, Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer at Ulta Beauty, told Bloomberg: "There are still a lot of women across the country, even in our oldest market of Chicago, who haven't heard of Ulta. Or, if they have, they don't really understand what we're all about."

The company has invested in prime-time TV advertising promoting its stores on popular US shows such as The Voice, Dancing With the Stars and Scandal. The ads will the be chain's first national campaign and have been created by filmaker and photographer David LaChappelle. It is thought to be positioning itself as an alternative to rival store Sephora.

Ulta is also due to debut on social media channel SnapChat and run adverts through Google, YouTube, PopSugar and Spotify.

Ulta has more than double the number of US stores as Sephora, but it is said to be less well-known in the US, particularly within cities. Ulta has been growing in recent months, increasing comparable sales by 10% in Q2 2015 and upping diluted share income to $2.19 over the past six months from $1.71 in the first six months of 2014. Online sales have also increased significantly, growing 43.4% to $36.1m in Q2 2015.

LVMH-owned Sephora is also performing well, announcing plans to launch a subscription service, rivalling Birchbox, earlier this year. However, many members of its loyalty scheme were left disappointed by an "Epic Rewards" event this summer.

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