*Cue movie trailer voice* In a world where big box department stores must fight to survive, and brick-and-mortar retailers continue to cannibalize themselves… One industry is sittin’ pretty…
The $57B global cosmetics market is one of the few retail verticals experiencing healthy growth, and, as department stores close up shop left and right, brands like Sephora and Ulta are actually expanding their footprint.
More specifically, Sephora already has nearly 1.8k stores worldwide, Ulta’s adding 100 to their 1k locations this year.
Because, for every dollar consumers spent at department stores…
They spent $2.3 at health and beauty retailers. Ulta’s Q4 same-store sales grew 16.6% from last year’s numbers, making it their 8th straight quarter of double-digit brick-and-mortar sales growth.
To put that in context, the other 100 retailers in the S&P Retail Select Industry Index fell 1% in Q4 on average.
Which makes sense — makeup is just more conducive to in-person purchases than, say, appliances or electronics (gotta see if you can pull off that matte coral lip stain IRL, amirite?).
As a result, Ulta’s shares are up 70% over the past year, outpacing even Amazon. Fun fact: Amazon also owns makeup brands like Maybelline, L’Oréal, Revlon, and Covergirl.
But Bezos isn’t batting an eyelash
Although Sephora & Ulta are hanging on to their foothold with celebrity partnerships and brand exclusivity, Amazon still brought in $2.5B in beauty sales last year, up 47% from 2015 — that’s about half of Ulta’s entire annual revenue.
We’re betting they won’t be sharing their beauty secrets any time soon.