FINANCE

Ulta Beauty holiday sales up 23.2%

BY Marianne Wilson

Bolingbrook, Ill. — Ulta Beauty reported that its holiday revenue grew 23.2% as sales “strongly” rebounded the weekend before Christmas.

Total sales for the seven-week holiday period were $475.6 million, compared with $386 million in the year-ago period. Same-store sales increased 7.4%, on top of a 12.6% increase during the same period in the prior year.

“After a record sales performance during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, sales in December slowed before strongly rebounding the weekend before Christmas. Customers were more sensitive to value as they shopped our stores and online throughout the holiday period. We believe we gained market share across our major categories, with prestige skin care and cosmetics delivering our strongest growth,” stated Chuck Rubin, president and CEO.

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OPERATIONS

President of Office Depot’s North American division resigns

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Office Depot announced that Kevin Peters had resigned from his role as president of the retailer’s North American division, effective immediately.

Office Depot said Peters was leaving the chain after five years to become CEO of an unidentified industrial distribution company.

"In his five years with Office Depot, Kevin was instrumental in building a strong team while driving the strategic vision for our North American sales channels and our supply chain organization," said Neil Austrian, Office Depot’s chairman and CEO. "We thank him for his many contributions to our company and wish him well in the future."

Austrian will now oversee the company’s North American business.

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OPERATIONS

RILA announces appointments in retail operations

BY Staff Writer

Arlington, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) announced that Garth Gasse has joined the association as director of retail operations, asset protection and Lisa LaBruno has been promoted to SVP retail operations.

In her new capacity, LaBruno will oversee RILA’s operational efforts, which bring together executives from across the retail enterprise, including supply chain and asset protection, to address challenges and advance the retail industry. LaBruno will also play a major role in the planning of RILA’s educational and networking conferences.

Garth Gasse joins RILA following 14 years with Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us, most recently as regional asset protection manager. In his new role Gasse will work with loss prevention executives from across the retail industry to identify common challenges and leading practices. Gasse will report to Lisa LaBruno.

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