Ulta Beauty Maintains Strong Appeal Among Consumers, Q3 Earnings Show — Retail Bum

Retail Bum
3 min readDec 1, 2023

Ulta Beauty reported a strong showing for the third quarter of 2023 that ended October 28, 2023, thanks to its knack for delivering valued offerings, resulting in a surge in traffic, both in brick-and-mortar stores and online.

In the third quarter of 2023, Ulta Beauty demonstrated a noteworthy performance, as net sales soared to $2,488.9 million, marking a 6.4% increase from the previous year’s $2,333.8 million. During this period, comparable sales experienced a 4.5% rise, in contrast to the prior year’s more substantial increase of 14.6%. The gross profit also increased, reaching $992.1 million, a 3% increase from the previous $962.8 million.

Ulta Beauty reported an operating income of $327.2 million, constituting 13.1% of net sales, compared to the previous year’s figure of 15.5%. Conversely, net income declined from $274.6 million to $249.5 million.

Ulta’s diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $5.07, slightly down from the previous figure of $5.34.

“Our insights suggest that consumers are ready to celebrate even as they navigate in an uncertain economic environment,” said CEO Dave Kimbell in a conference call with investors on Thursday, November 30, 2023.

That said, Kimbell also pointed to the likelihood of higher promotional activity within the beauty category this holiday season.

The announcement comes on the heels of a recent interview conducted by Retail Bum with Robina Verbeek, co-CEO and co-founder of SOS, which has teamed up with Ulta Beauty to revitalize its in-store experience with high-tech sampling kiosks. In the interview, Verbeek delved into the company’s mission to eliminate the widespread distribution of impersonal samples, opting to replace the outdated approach with a modern strategy centered around utilizing retail media technology.

During the conversation, Verbeek highlighted how SOS’s collaboration with the beauty retailer is helping promote responsible consumer behavior within Ulta Beauty stores. According to Verbeek, preliminary data already indicates promising engagement and usage of SOS devices as the company’s kiosks provide consumers with an interactive experience and offer brands a more direct…