Thursday, 11 June 2020

Ulta to review all stores



Ulta Beauty is the latest retailer to review its store footprint, in light of pressures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The cosmetics chain said on Wednesday it is undertaking a "clean sheet" review of its stores to evaluate store closures and remodeling options at hundreds of brick-and-mortar locations. 

The company will rethink its approach, which may include closing stores in the coming months and potentially negotiating better lease terms and relocating certain stores to better locations. 

The retailer also said that it will now open 30 to 40 new locations this year, which represents just about half as many as initially planned for 2020. 

Ulta reported a 32.7 percent decrease in first-quarter sales last month, leading the company to topple into a loss. 

The Bolingbrook, Illinois-based retailer reported net sales of $1.17 billion, compared to $1.74 billion in the prior-year period. Comparable sales fell 35.3 percent, compared to a 7 percent rise in the first quarter of 2019.

Ulta’s quarterly net loss came to $78.5 million, or $1.39 per diluted share, compared to net income of $192.2 million, or $3.26 per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.

Ulta is one of many retailers who relies on in-store revenue, while e-commerce only represents a portion of sales. Ulta operates 1,254 stores as of Feb. 1, where it offers a range of products and services including haircuts and other beauty services. 

In response to the Covid-19 crisis, Ulta closed its stores on March 19 and also suspended its buy-online-pick-up-in-store service. In May, it introduced curbside pick-up at select stores around the U.S and started reopening stores with increased safety measures. 

To date, it has reopened more than 900 of its stores for curbside pickup, including over 650 locations for in-store sales.

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