Ulta Beauty’s Mary Dillon Talks Leadership

With Ulta Beauty chief executive officer Mary Dillon, what you see is what you get.
Dillon, described as curious, consistent and collaborative by her employees, has presided over Ulta’s biggest boom. 
In the six years since she was appointed ceo, the beauty retailer’s business has completely transformed. The company has gained consistent points with consumers, going from “not very high” awareness, per Dillon, in September 2013, to 56 percent unaided awareness and 91 percent aided awareness in 2019. It’s also made headway with brands which, for the most part, didn’t used to clamor for space on Ulta’s shelves. But now mainstream lines including MAC and Lancôme, plus big-time indies like Benefit, Too Faced and It Cosmetics all count Ulta as an integral part of their U.S. distribution strategies. The retailer has also become a home for digitally native brands like Kylie Cosmetics, Morphe and Juvia’s Place, that are seeking offline sales growth. Soon the retailer will branch out of the domestic market for the first time, with a store set to open in Canada.
So far, under Dillon’s leadership, the Bolingbrook, Ill.-based Ulta has more than doubled in sales. The company posted $2.67 billion in net sales for fiscal 2013, and $6.72 billion

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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