Shoppers are buying beauty in more places, and soon they'll have more stores to encourage that habit. Some beauty retailers — namely Ulta, Bluemercury, Bare Escentuals and Sephora via J.C. Penney — have unrolled blueprints for aggressive store growth, which in most cases will accelerate in 2008. Regis Corp. plans to ratchet up the competition by transforming its 630 Trade Secret stores into "beauty boutiques," which in addition to professional hair care will carry skin care and cosmetics. It's a model that bares a striking similarity to that of Ulta, the beauty retailer that houses salon, mass market and increasingly prestige brands under one roof.
Ulta, the Romeoville, Ill.-based retailer that went public in October, has built a chain of some 236 stores located in suburban off-mall shopping centers, and plans to end the year with 250 doors. Ulta's president and chief executive officer, Lyn Kirby, said the chain has the potential to grow to 1,000-plus stores over the next decade.
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