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Ulta Beauty Sees Looting, Store Damage Amid National Protests

The retailer has closed several of its locations across the country.

Ulta Beauty has closed a number of its store locations that were damaged and looted amid national protests this week over the George Floyd killing by a Minneapolis police officer, WWD has confirmed.

“With the safety of our associates, guests and the communities where we operate, we can confirm stores in cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia and Orlando, among others, were damaged and looted throughout the past few days. Of course, those stores have been closed to assess and repair,” a spokesperson wrote in an e-mailed statement to WWD. “In an abundance of caution, we have proactively closed other stores to ensure safety where necessary.”

Ulta did not confirm the number of impacted stores or the extent of the destruction, but local news reports from the San Francisco Bay Area and Philadelphia describe extended periods of looting unchecked by police and heavy damages at Ulta locations in those cities.

Peaceful protests over the killing of Floyd, a black man, by a white police officer devolved into violence and looting over the weekend and early this week. Major shopping corridors from Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles to New York’s SoHo saw extensive damage, just as retailers were beginning to open back up after weeks and months of coronavirus-induced closures.

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Ulta, which operates nearly 1,200 stores in the U.S., had reopened 840 locations for curbside pick-up and 333 locations to shoppers as of last week. The retailer’s sales dropped 32 percent last quarter due to the coronavirus closures.

Chief executive officer Mary Dillon said on the company’s earnings call last week that she expected “the vast majority of stores to reopen in some capacity” by the end of June. It is not clear yet to if the looting and damages will disrupt that plan.

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