Ulta slowly introducing curbside service

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Ulta Beauty stores remain closed after temporarily shuttering during the coronavirus pandemic, but it is beginning to ease back into business. Some 350 of its more than 1,250 stores are set to start offering curbside pickup. 

CEO Mary Dillon said the curbside service is an add-on to its buy-online-pickup in-store policy that has been in place for beauty essential items. The curbside service is being rolled out to locations where the company said it has evaluated the safety conditions of that local market and worked with local and state authorities to ensure the curbside service could be safely enacted. 

“To do this right, we have and will continue to implement robust health and safety protocols with our local store associates to ensure all orders are handled following CDC guidelines, limiting contact between our guests and teams,” Dillon said. "We also look forward to re-opening our stores as soon as it safe to do so. As the impact of COVID-19 varies by region, it is likely we will reopen stores in some states and markets before others with safety for all as our key criteria."

The beauty retailer with a very strong private label business and in-store services began the pandemic by postponing their highly interactive make-up, skincare and brow services inside Ulta locations. They also implemented a “no-touch” rule to their in-store display that helps shoppers match shades of color with make-up.

Ultimately, as the virus continued, the store was forced to close entirely, losing out on that experiential advantage the store had. But Dillon noted that the company already is looking forward to opening again. 

"We are working diligently towards the time when we can welcome all our guests and associates back to Ulta Beauty with new safety processes in place," she said.