Twin Cities-area Targets will be among the first in the country to open Ulta Beauty shops in their stores.
Minneapolis-based Target announced Wednesday morning that more than 100 Ulta Beauty "shop-in-shop" concepts will open at Target stores in August, with a goal to reach 800 stores in the coming years. The Ulta Beauty selection will also be available online.
The Ulta Beauty areas will be near stores' beauty sections and will feature specialized displays and season-specific products for customers to discover. They will also have Ulta Beauty-trained Target workers on hand to provide guests with beauty consultations and product recommendations.
"This unique partnership is another way we continue to elevate the guest experience across our multi-category business," Christina Hennington, Target's chief growth officer, said in a statement.
The Ulta selection at Target will include well-known brands such as bareMinerals, Bumble and Bumble, Clinique, Drybar, MAC Cosmetics, Morphe and more.
Shoppers will also benefit from both the Target Circle and Ultamate Rewards loyalty programs. Beauty hunters in the Twin Cities will begin to see the sections at more than a dozen Target locations such as in Roseville, Bloomington and the Midway store in St. Paul.
Target first announced the partnership with the cosmetics chain last November with analysts and investors reacting positively and both Ulta and Target's shares getting a boost. The collaboration is seen as a way to allow Target to beef up its beauty prowess while at the same time increasing Ulta's exposure to everyday shoppers.
"It's a very clear opportunity for us in that we'll have hundreds of new points of distribution, ways to reach new guests whether it's in stores or online," Mary Dillon, chief executive of Ulta Beauty, said at the time of the announcement. "The Target guest is pretty similar to the Ulta guest in many ways. They just go there a lot more often."
As the number of vaccinated consumers continues to increase and foot traffic to stores starts to improve, retail industry experts have said the next wave of future stores will create experiential enhancements to continue to draw customers into brick-and-mortar stores.
Ulta already has a GLAMlab feature via its website and a mobile app to allow customers to virtually try on makeup.
"As the retail and beauty industries continue to evolve, we take pride in being leaders that continually redefine and elevate guest experiences," Kecia Steelman, chief operating officer of Ulta Beauty, said in a statement. "Ulta Beauty at Target reflects our commitment to drive the industry forward and keep our guests meaningfully engaged."
Ulta's sales suffered last year as it was forced to temporarily close its stores at the start of the pandemic. But business has bounced back with the company posting a record first quarter, with sales exceeding not only the same period in 2020 but also in 2019.