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Ulta Beauty Q2 net income up 28%; new CEO outlines growth strategy

BY Antoinette Alexander

Bolinbrook, Ill. — Ulta Beauty reported that its second quarter net income rose 28.3% to $44.9 million, compared with $35 million in the year-ago period.

The company posted a 24.8% boost in second quarter net sales as CEO Mary Dillon outlined some of the key priorities for her first 100 days at the helm of the beauty retailer. Dillon, a former PepsiCo executive, joined the company as CEO on July 1. She succeeded Chuck Rubin, who left the company to become CEO at Michaels Stores.

“Our second quarter performance highlights many of the reasons I decided to join Ulta. We operate in an industry that’s growing and important to our guests. Ulta has a differentiated format that resonates with customers. We have a solid long-term growth strategy and a strong team that’s executing that strategy very well,” Dillon told analysts during Thursday’s conference call.

Dillon said that she doesn’t plan to make any “radical changes” to the company’s growth strategy, but rather plans to “expand and build upon” the foundation.

She noted that the beauty category is expected to continue to grow 3% to 4% over the long term, and she is optimistic that Ulta Beauty can continue to capture market share.

“I expect that share gains will come through new store growth, healthy same-store sales growth, driven by new customer acquisition and more frequent visits of existing customers who are attracted by newness in our offering and the strength of our marketing and loyalty programs,” Dillon said.

Outlining her key priorities for her first 100 days on the job, Dillon told analysts, “First and foremost, I plan to work with the team to deliver the 2013 financial performance that we’ve planned. Another top priority is supporting our store growth plans. At the same time, I’ll be focused on addressing business needs in the area of supply chain and our digital omni-channel approach. I’ll also be assessing the organization’s talent, capabilities and culture needs as we continue to aggressively grow the business. I’ll also spend time getting to know key vendor partners, and of course, analysts and investors.”

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Yoplait unveils new Go-Gurt packaging

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS — Yoplait yogurt has unveiled new packaging design for Go-Gurt, which features prominent health labels.

"Our consumers expressed their need for a product that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup for their kids and we listened and acted," said Justin Conzemius, Yoplait associate marketing director. "For the past year, we have been working on a product that would achieve those goals, yet continue to deliver a product that kids found fun and delicious."

Go-Gurt is made with natural flavors and colors and contains no high fructose corn syrup, according to Yoplait.

"We know that sugar is a concern for parents and that parents desire more natural products," said Melissa Haase, Yoplait research and development. "While there were hurdles with the new reformulation, we were also able to reduce the sugar by 1 gram and lower the calories from 70 to 60 calories per serving."

Go-Gurt is available in 8- and 16-ct. package varieties with a SRP of $2.89 and $4.99 respectively in grocers’ refrigerated aisles.

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JustFab, Glendale Galleria, Glendale, Calif.

BY CSA STAFF
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Online fashion subscription retailer JustFab’s first retail store brings to life the brand’s sophisticated but inviting personality and stylish attitude. The 3,000-sq.-ft. space, in the Glendale Galleria, Glendale, Calif., was designed to mirror the brand’s online shopping experience, with cohesive, trend-driven collections showcased against sleek white surfaces.

Customers are able to shop curated product displays, with trend story videos and in-store personal “stylists” offering inspiration and fashion advice on how to wear the trends featured. They can also register at the boutique for exclusive VIP member pricing that was previously available online only. Shoppers who don’t wish to join can opt to purchase items at regular retail price.

JustFab has merged technology and fashion at its retail store to deliver an efficient and seamless shopping. Using the app’s floor activity toolsets, JustFab associates are able to check inventory instantly or to send product requests from anywhere within the boutique on their iPad mini devices, eliminating the need for associates to physically check inventory or pull requested styles from the stockroom.

Design: Menemsha Solutions, Los Angeles


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