Ulta Beauty Makes Digital Investments, Acquisitions

Ulta Beauty is pushing harder into digital.
The specialty beauty retailer has invested in a digital workflow partner, Iterate, and an online booking tool, Spruce. The business has also acquired QM Scientific and GlamST, which are technology start-ups related to artificial intelligence and augmented reality, meant to support Ulta's personalization initiatives.
The deals were unveiled Thursday as part of the company's Investor Day — the business also upped its guidance for the year to between 7 and 8 percent comparable-sales growth, and said it was starting a multiyear cost-savings program meant to save between $150 million and $200 million. That money will support future growth initiatives.
"We have the broadest array of brands and categories and price points in beauty," said Ulta Beauty chief executive officer Mary Dillon. She went through a high-level overview of Ulta's long-term plans, which include targeting more specific segments of the core beauty enthusiast and an increased focus on digital.
"The growing segments in the U.S.…allover index in beauty," she said.
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