It’s hard not to compare Ulta to Sephora, and the two are really yin and yang to each other. One Ulta executive I spoke to jokingly referred to Sephora as “our dark and moody sister competitor.” Haus says, “[Customers] feel like our store layout and our associates are super approachable,” maybe more so than at Sephora, whose parent company, LVMH, is based in Paris and is known for its luxury brands. Ulta is all about embracing the high-low mix.
— Read more at Ulta Doesn’t Want to Be Sephora at Yahoo News.
The situation puts high-end cosmetic brands in a conundrum. Many are becoming increasingly dependent on Sephora for sales growth, but are faced with shrinking shelf space at the retailer as LVMH makes room for its own new brands. That is pressuring them to find alternative distribution channels. To sell at Sephora, which has more than 2,300 stores around the world, brands can pay more than 60% from each sale, a higher rate than at most department stores and specialty retailers, according to people familiar with the matter, although many department stores layer on separate charges for labor and other costs.
— Read more at As Sephora Adds Products, Rivalry Heats Up at Its Stores at MorningStar.