Ulta to reopen about 180 stores on May 11; some to offer hair services

Marianne Wilson
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Customers can forget about testing products at Ulta Beauty — at least for now.

The beauty giant has joined other retailers in reopening stores in select states, and is doing so with an abundance of safety measures in place. Ulta, which has debuted curbside pickup in more than 700 of its 1,254 locations nationwide, will reopen approximately 180 stores on Monday, May 11.

The states included in Ulta’s first phase of store reopenings are Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. A number of the reopened locations will offer hair services with heightened safety protocols.
Company CEO Mary Dillion said a commitment to safety has guided Ulta’s “thoughtful, phased approach to reopening.”

“Our focus has been on how to reopen safely – not just when – throughout our preparation and planning to ensure we are confident to welcome guests and associates back to Ulta Beauty,” she said.

To create safer in-store shopping environments, Ulta said it worked with government and health guidance to inform safety policies and the Retail Industry Leaders Association to collaborate across the industry and share best practices on how customers will shop. 

The best practices, or Ulta’s “Shop Safe Standards,” include the following:

 Face Coverings: All in-store employees will wear face coverings; shoppers will be asked to do the same while shopping.

• Social Distancing: Visual cues, such as signage or floor decals, will help ensure six feet of separation are maintained. Additional measures include limited occupancy, safely-spaced registers with protective barriers and options for contactless payment.

• Salon Service Safety: Hair services will be available by appointment only in select stores. Safety measures for salon services include required face coverings, gloves for associates, increased laundering of capes and aprons, staggered stations to support social distancing and added sanitization processes.

“As a special thank you to those caring so diligently for the country right now, all healthcare workers will be able to make appointments for half-price haircut and style in the first month their local Ulta Beauty store is open,” the company said.

Testers: Product testers are not available for use in store. Open product is now for display only, with signage reinforcing the new policy. Products remain on display to showcase colors offered only and hand sanitizer will readily available throughout the store.

• In-Store Cleanliness: Increased protocols are in place for regular cleaning and disinfecting public spaces throughout the day. Additional hand sanitizer stations have been put in place for shoppers.

• Associate Wellness: Employees will participate in mandatory wellness checks before the start of shifts, have physically rearranged breakrooms, and will learn and execute safety training on new policies.

“We know we cannot do this alone and this journey continues to shed light on new learnings and concerted efforts to keep moving forward safely in collaboration with government and health officials as well as other retail industry leaders,” said Dillon. “It is our responsibility to create store environments that are safe for our guests to enjoy the shopping experience and for our associates to work confidently. We look forward, with cautious optimism, to welcoming all back to Ulta Beauty.”