After launching its 36-shade makeup concealer collection via its direct channels in January, The Ordinary has decided to exclusively work with Ulta Beauty to carry its entire makeup range moving forward.
The product collection will launch first on Ulta.com on March 21 before entering 326 brick-and-mortar stores on May 3. The Ordinary is also increasing its number of items sold through Ulta Beauty from 22 to 112 products across skin care and makeup. Its products will further expand to all 1,200 Ulta Beauty doors in 2021. The expansion of color cosmetics and the Ulta Beauty partnership goes against the grain of beauty trends, wherein makeup has seen a sustained sales decline since even before the pandemic. Ulta Beauty’s overall assortment has leaned heavily toward makeup, but it has been making inroads with noteworthy hair- and skin-care brands through its new Conscious Beauty program. In 2020, Deciem, which is the parent company of The Ordinary, as well as brands Niod and Hif, nearly doubled its sales to approximately $460 million.
“When you look at our skin-care business, it was always our price point that made us accessible, but the efficacy brought along the trust. We’re hoping to do the same thing in the color space,” said Dakota Isaacs, Deciem’s market director for North America.
The Ordinary’s skin care entered Ulta Beauty stores in May 2019, shortly after the products relaunched onto Sephora.com in Jan. 2019 after a seven-month hiatus. In Aug. 2020, Deciem debuted eight products in all of Sephora’s 78 locations across Canada. Between Jan. 2020 and Jan. 2021, The Ordinary’s sales have grown 250% on Ulta.com and 196% through Ulta stores, according to Isaacs.
In February, Estée Lauder Companies upped its 2017 29% stake in Deciem to 76%, valuing Deciem at $2.2 billion. In three years, Estée Lauder Companies plans to buy the rest of Deciem at a to-be-determined valuation. Following a volatile year for Ulta Beauty, the retailer’s CEO Mary Dillon made a surprise announcement that she was stepping down in early March. Current deputy President Dave Kimbell will become CEO in June.
“We have seen great engagement and look forward to seeing beauty enthusiasts gravitate toward the Colours Foundations and the new concealer addition within The Ordinary’s not-so-ordinary offering of affordable, highly-effective products,” said Monica Arnaudo, chief merchandising officer at Ulta Beauty.
But The Ordinary is not the only accessible brand focused on single ingredients with performance to earn retailer attention and customer love. Sephora added U.K.-based The Inkey List to 250 doors in May 2019, while French brand Typology expanded to the U.S. in February via e-commerce.
Isaacs said that Ulta Beauty’s virtual try-on tool called GlamLab, as well as the retailer’s willingness to give The Ordinary free rein on its endcap design were some of the considerations for expanding the partnership. Isaacs said there are no particular campaign plans surrounding the Ulta Beauty expansion.
Ulta Beauty also sells buzzy inclusive brands like Juvia’s Place, Morphe, Uoma Beauty and Beauty Bakerie, which all offer wide-ranging makeup shades. These brands, plus The Ordinary, will be well-poised for any post-pandemic makeup resurgence.
“We are expanding not just our retail footprint, but also our product offerings. And Ulta Beauty is going to [become] a destination for The Ordinary,” said Isaacs.