BeautyStat, the skin care brand founded by cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson, has inked a major distribution deal to start off the new year.
The brand will be going into 260 Ulta Beauty doors and online, with a deluxe trial size of its top product, the Universal C Skin Refiner, in all doors.
Robinson, who launched the line in 2019 on Violet Grey, has slowly expanded distribution since then: his products are currently sold in BlueMercury and Nordstrom, among others. Ulta, though, is about breaking into new consumer demographics. “Ulta is the perfect partner to help us take that message, take our products to a larger market and a larger consumer base,” he told WWD.
For Ulta Beauty, the brand’s partnership has a few strategic advantages. For one, it expands its foothold in skin care, which has “been on fire and continues to be a top trending category,” said Monica Arnaudo, the retailer’s chief merchandising officer.
“Guests are maintaining the routine that they established during COVID[-19] and spending more time and using more products, so that’s really important for us,” she continued.
The products, which Robinson drew on his career background as a chemist to formulate, draw appeal for their scientific and efficacy-based claims. “We are all about showing everyone that our products work,” Robinson said.
That strategy has won Robinson a few different accolades, including being nominated into WWD Beauty Inc’s list of the greatest skin care products of all time, as well as virality on TikTok.
The brand also goes hand-in-hand with a greater push from Ulta Beauty to add more Black-owned brands in its assortment. At the beginning of last year, the retailer pledged to double the amount of the then 13 brands in its matrix with Black founders, a goal exceeded when it closed out 2021 with 28 brands.
“It’s not even an initiative, it’s an important strategic imperative that we’re focused on,” Arnaudo said, also nodding to Ulta signing the 15 Percent Pledge last year. “It was really committing and leaning into our Black-owned brands and overall BIPOC brands to ensure that we are offering an assortment that is appealing to our full guest community, and that we’re showcasing underrepresented voices within the industry.”
Arnaudo acknowledged the challenges of onboarding brands of varying size, especially at Ulta’s scale, and said taking tailored approaches to each new partner has been key to creating brand relationships with longevity.
“Every brand is at different points in their own growth in terms of what they’re able to support, and so we take a very customized approach with every brand that we launch. If a brand is fairly new, we’ll take a much more measured approach,” she said, adding that Ulta’s new brands platform, Sparked, also helps to foster inclusivity.
“We’re meeting the brands where they are. It’s not about quantity, it’s about the quality of where the brand is at, and ensuring that we’re supporting them to be successful,” Arnaudo continued. “Every day, we are learning so that we can continue to make sure we are investing and focusing our energy in the areas that will best support our Black-owned and BIPOC brands.”
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