CEW Ulta 1

Chrysallis’ Jill Scalamandre and Ulta’s
Chuck Rubin with Carlotta Jacobson of CEW.

Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) hosted its first Newsmaker Forum of the year on February 16 in New York City. Chuck Rubin, president and CEO of Ulta Beauty, discussed what his diverse retail experience brings to the industry, as well as the concept of partnership and its direct correlation with retail success.

Since his joining Ulta in 2010, Rubin has remodeled the business and upped the store count by a third to create a total of 449 stores across the U.S., with hopes of making it 1,000 in the next couple years.

“Ulta is the largest beauty retailer in the U.S., with over 20,000 products, and there is still a lot of opportunity for us,” said Rubin. “Our success is because the company is very focused on the guest that shops with us. We know she wants something unique that is centered around her, so we give her a broad offering, a digital presence, and great customer service.”

Rubin highlighted the importance of providing the customer with a curated assortment of what’s happening with the trends across mass, prestige and salon.

“The vast majority of women have cross-brand desires,” said Rubin. “We tend to sell the upper end of mass, but clearly the majority of our offering is prestige. Our strategy isn’t predicated on price, but on experience—events that bring to life the fun of the beauty industry.”
According to Rubin, Ulta outpaced both mass and prestige sales for 2011.

“We’re in an outstanding position from a retailer standpoint, and we have great flexibility,” said Rubin. “We’re proud that we’re growing throughout our offering, and we need to always have newness in our offering to enhance the assortment for our shoppers. They expect it from us.”

Coty Prestige’s Lori Singer with Elizabeth Arden’s Joel Ronkin and Elizabeth Park and Kathleen McNeill of Arcade Marketing’s Diane Crecca
and Janet Taake of Ulta.
Ulta’s Dennis Mullahy with Linda Briscoe, Dominick Gigante and Tom Vince of P&G.
Elizabeth Arden’s Laurie Dowley with
Claudia Poccia of Gurwitch Products.
Ahava’s Elana Drell Szyfer with
Ellen Friedman of RPG.
Shiseido’s Christina Iwasko, Rita Mangan
and Gisela Ballard.
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Beiersdorf’s Bill Graham with Scott Beattie
of Elizabeth Arden.
Cosmolab’s Holli Montgomery and Debra McDonough (r.) with Gail Gordon of Perfumania and Cynthia Aherne of Berglass Associates. The Estée Lauder Companies’ Thia Breen
with George Ledes of Beauty Fashion.
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Philosophy’s Liz Garrett with Coty’s Matt Lucas and Debbie Halfacre of OPI. CEW’s Lisa Klein and Carlotta Jacobson
with Heidi Manheimer of Shiseido (c.).
Unilever’s Kees Kruythoff, Gina Boswell
and Kathy O’Brien.
    See More CEW ULTA photos

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