As brick-and-mortar retail has slowly been opening with the general consensus being “hope for the best and plan for the worst,” Sephora and Ulta are wasting no time pushing their brick-and-mortar business forward by doubling down on clean beauty with strategic partnerships.
Prestige clean beauty is up 11% so far in 2020 despite the overall beauty category’s 14% decline, according to data from the NPD Group.
Sephora has a significant head start in the clean beauty space having launched its Clean at Sephora program in 2018, currently consisting of 3,000 products across 68 brands that meet its clean criteria. Ulta on the other hand has yet to launch a clean beauty initiative.
Sephora x Beautycounter
On July 7 the brand will hit the Sephora website, and on Aug. 7 Beautycounter will pop up in Sephora stores with an assortment of 11 bestsellers including All Bright Vitamin C Serum and Overnight Resurfacing Peel. The pop-up will last until the end of October.
Beautycounter has stayed true to its DTC model but has leveraged retail partnerships in the past. In 2016 the brand partnered on a capsule collection with Target. This is a first for Sephora, but Beautycounter has cultivated an army of clean advocates that helps reinforce their commitment to the category.
“We feel strongly there are times to do strategic awareness … around the importance of clean ingredients,” Beautycounter founder and Chief Executive Gregg Renfrew told CNBC in a phone interview. “We have an army of advocates, and we want more voices to our movement.”
“Sephora has been a force for quite some time. They have taken a position on clean that is unparalleled in the retail industry to date,” Renfrew said. “It’s an opportunity to really validate the movement for clean.”
For Sephora, the deal was a no-brainer, especially as Sephora’s client base shows an ascending interest in clean beauty, Artemis Patrick, Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer at Sephora, said to WWD. “They’re leaders in the space. Not just as it pertains to the product itself, but also how they work with legislation and health-protective laws,”
Ulta x Credo
The beauty retailers have entered into a partnership marking a meaningful move into the clean beauty category for Ulta and an opportunity to scale outside its nine stores with one of the largest beauty retailers in the US for Credo.
The clean beauty collection will launch with eight clean beauty brands, including EleVen by Venus Williams x Credo SPF, Innersense Organic Beauty, and One Love Organics, among others, across 100 Ulta Beauty stores and on Ulta.com this fall.
“As a trailblazer in ingredient authenticity and transparency, Credo Beauty is the perfect partner for us as we continue to evolve our clean beauty offerings for guests,” said Monica Arnaudo, Chief Merchandising Officer, Ulta Beauty. “We know ninety percent of Gen-Z shoppers intend to buy clean beauty products in the next year; this first effort together, a clean collection handpicked by the experts at Credo, offers amazing products and more beautiful, clean possibilities for their needs.”
“We partner with brands driven by innovation, clean beauty and transparency on our mission to change the industry together,” said Annie Jackson, co-founder and COO, Credo Beauty. “Bringing this collection to life with Ulta Beauty helps us share the highest standards in clean beauty with an expanded audience of enthusiasts. We are thrilled to share our knowledge and relationships to create platforms together for new, sustainable beauty brands to grow.”
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