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In a Bid for Gen Z Shoppers, Ulta Beauty Launches Dior Beauty

The luxury brand is among the latest launches with the U.S.’s largest beauty retailer.

Dior Beauty has launched at Ulta Beauty.

In a play for Gen Z and high-spend shoppers, Ulta has debuted Dior Beauty in 200 doors, focusing on lip color cosmetics.

Ulta expects the Dior assortment to tap into consumer interest in makeup, which Maria Salcedo, senior vice president of merchandising, said is returning to pre-pandemic levels.

“Our cosmetics category has continued to strengthen, and there is really robust momentum in the category as a whole, now reaching pre-pandemic levels,” she said. “Seventy percent of our beauty enthusiasts are maintaining their beauty routines and specifically talking about makeup — using those products four or more times per week.“

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The Dior-Ulta offering includes Gen Z favorites, including the TikTok-viral Lip Glow Oil, as well as Lip Maximizer, with an expanded assortment online. In stores, the lineup will be merchandised separately from Dior’s fragrances, which Ulta already carries.

“Dior is a brand making significant inroads and having a lot of success with the Gen Z consumer. It really is about excitement and innovation and connecting with Gen Z on their own terms. We provide discovery, and the environment reflects consumption of cosmetics and beauty from all price points,” Salcedo said.

Dior’s makeup business grew at double the pace of the industry overall in 2022, and core products like its Rosy Glow Blush, $39, and the Lip Glow Oil, $38, have all nabbed viral status on TikTok.

Luxury price points are attracting interest from younger consumers, Salcedo noted. “Gen Z has shown an increased propensity to luxury. From qualitative research, we have seen their purchase intent of luxury product has continued to grow and is higher than what it is for other cohorts,” Salcedo said. 

Though makeup interest mirrors pre-pandemic shopping behaviors, Salcedo contended that the motivators are remarkably different, with Gen Z shoppers having what she called a “healthier” relationship with the category.

“Cosmetics are not just performative or superficial, they’re about self-expression,” she said. “It’s a tool [for Gen Z] to celebrate their individuality and their uniqueness. Dior is obviously resonating with consumers and guests,” she continued.

The move also follows an exclusive partnership between Ulta and Chanel, which maintains the exclusive retailer for Chanel No.1, a multicategory franchise launched in 2022.

Salcedo said Ulta’s reach makes it an attractive offer for luxury players looking for new shoppers. “How we can partner and deliver is with our 1,300 stores, online and 39 million guests in our loyalty program,” she said. “We know that our guests want these brands, and our expectation is that it’s a new guest for the brands.”