Ulta Beauty Reduces Staff Amid Pandemic

As it acclimates to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic, Ulta Beauty has reduced its field management and corporate headcount, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The retailer had approximately 26,000 part-time staffers and 18,000 full-time staffers pre-pandemic as of Feb. 1, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing an annual report.

An Ulta representative, Eileen Ziesemer, did not tell the paper how many places or workers were impacted. But Ziesemer said it was a “meaningful but relatively small” percentage of its staffers.

“While incredibly difficult, these decisions were made thoughtfully with a focus on resetting our corporate cost structure to operate more effectively and efficiently in the short-term as well as optimizing our enterprise capabilities to thrive in the long-term,” Ziesemer wrote.

The beauty retailer stopped its intended growth into Canada to concentrate on expanding its American business. However, new store openings, which stopped for a time amid COVID-19, have started up again.

In Q3 2020, Ulta opened 17 retail locations as it shuttered 19 locations. Ulta said it plans to open a minimum of 30 retail locations in the next year — a figure the paper says excludes the locations that will open within Target locations.

In November, Target announced that an Ulta “shop-in-shop” concept will provide established and novel brands through the web and in certain Target locations starting in 2021. The “Ulta Beauty at Target” concept will debut at over 100 places with intentions to grow to hundreds more in time.  The intended locations will complement Ulta Beauty’s existing sotre locations.

“Ulta Beauty at Target reflects further evolution in our omnichannel strategy, rooted in unlocking the potential of our physical and digital footprints, creating more seamless shopping opportunities for our loyal guests and continuing to lead the beauty industry. More than ever before, now is the time for innovation in retail,” Ulta Beauty CEO Mary Dillon said in a past press release.



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