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Rituals Enters Ulta Beauty

The bath-and-body-care brand is bringing three of its collections to Ulta Beauty’s new premium bath-and-body section.

Rituals is bringing its philosophy of slowing down to the Ulta Beauty consumer.

After expanding its U.S. footprint with 10 freestanding stores in New York, Rituals is embarking on its first nationwide wholesale partnership with Ulta Beauty.

“We believe that everywhere people get connected to our brand they need to have the same experience,” said Marjolein Westerbeek, president of Rituals USA. “Looking at how [Ulta Beauty] works with their customer and creates an experience in every store with innovative approaches, we felt they were that consistent partner for us.”

Part of Ulta Beauty’s new pod dedicated to premium bath and body products, the brand will offer three of its “Rituals” or collections: The Ritual of Sakura, The Ritual of Ayurveda and The Ritual of Hammam. Altogether, the 27 stockkeeping units will retail for $15 to $33.

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“Bath and body is a category that can sometimes be a struggle, but I believe we can make a difference at [Ulta Beauty] by bringing our philosophy to their assortment,” Westerbeek continued.

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Rituals already has wholesale relationships with Barneys New York and Cos Bar, but the Ulta Beauty partnership allows the brand to have more exposure nationwide. The brand will be carried at roughly 150 Ulta Beauty doors, 80 of which are brand new stores.

While Rituals enters Ulta Beauty on a rolling basis through the end of the year, the brand is still committed to opening more freestanding stores across the country. Similar to its quick expansion across New York, Rituals has plans to open 10 stores in California, specifically in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. The brand is also looking to open stores in other retail hubs in the U.S., like Miami, Chicago, Boston, Texas and Washington state. Rituals is also expanding its presence in travel retail with a pop-up slated to open at JFK airport.

“What we strongly believe in at Rituals is creating touchpoints with customers to bring our brand message across. That’s why at the same time we are opening our own retail stores and exploring partnerships,” Westerbeek said. “By creating more touchpoints, we believe that we can create different environments where people can get to know the brand and our values.”

Along with the retail expansion, Rituals is ramping up its digital and social media efforts to continue growing its customer base. The brand will leverage its local social media channels to build communities and have a more personal connection with consumers and will continue working with influencers as part of its marketing efforts. In May, the brand partnered with actress Troian Bellisario for the opening of its Grand Central Station store, which the brand said increased traffic and purchases on its e-commerce site.

“The most important thing for us is having a conversation with consumers,” said Jamie Mandor-Glassman, senior vice president of marketing and e-commerce. “Digital [media] is the best place for us to invite customers to share their own slow-down experience and how they turn their routines into more meaningful rituals.”

Rituals declined to comment on estimated sales from the partnership, however in May Raymond Cloosterman, chief executive officer of Rituals, disclosed to WWD that the business is on track to grow 30 percent this year.