Ariana Grande’s R.E.M. Beauty is going wide with its first retail partner.
The brand, which launched last year, is going into more than 1,000 Ulta Beauty doors next month with its full assortment. At present, it is only sold via the brand’s website, and spans makeup and skin care. Prices range from $16 to $24.
R.E.M. Beauty may be new to Ulta, but Grande is not. The retailer has carried Grande’s perfume lines, which initially launched in 2015.
“We carry a number of celebrity brands that deliver credible influence and innovative products across all categories,” said Monica Arnaudo, chief merchandising officer, Ulta Beauty in an email. “Ariana Grande is a wonderful example of a long-standing, successful celebrity brand partner. Her fragrances are some of our most-loved in the category and we are thrilled to embark on this next chapter of her beauty journey,” she continued.
The brand, incubated by Morphe parent company Forma Brands, is said to resonate both domestically and globally. “From the beginning, Ariana has had such a super clear vision and really knew from the very beginning of the process, as founder and creator, what she wanted the brand to really stand for and to be about,” said Alex Alston, the brand’s vice president.
You May Also Like
Part of that value proposition includes accessibility, which Alston sees as guiding its distribution strategy. “Just having that IRL moment is really important, where [consumers] can really touch and feel and explore the product and also, we’re able to provide this playground in a meaningful way across the country,” he said.
“In line with that ambition to be inclusive, it provides us that opportunity to connect with the widest audience possible,” he said.
The celebrity beauty space has seen an onslaught of new entrants, from Scarlett Johansson to Jennifer Lopez. Part of cutting through the clutter, Alston said, involved making sure Grande was involved in every step of building the brand.
“What really differentiates the brand is that we are so authentically linked to her point of view and perspective. That has really allowed us to create something that feels very uniquely Ari,” Alston said. “She will always ensure that we are focused on the core DNA and fundamentals of the brand and I that keeps us true to her vision.”
To that end, Alston added that Grande’s experience with beauty — both as a consumer, and from years in the makeup chair — makes her an ideal sounding board. “She road tests the product, her makeup bag is always full of R.E.M. Beauty samples and she will give me honest feedback all the time about how to make something better,” Alston said.
The brand’s decision to enter retail comes after its second collection drop, called “goodnight n go,” named after the track on her 2018 album, Sweetener.
Grande seemed equally bullish on the partnership. “I decided to work with Ulta Beauty as an exclusive retail partner because they are simply the best and such incredible partners,” she said. “We’ve worked together over the past few years doing fragrance and have built such a wonderful relationship. I feel like R.E.M. Beauty has such a perfect home in Ulta Beauty stores, and I so deeply appreciate their loyalty and their belief in my products. It’s an honor and I am very excited for people to get their hands on them in person.”
FOR MORE FROM WWD.COM, SEE: