Ulta Beauty Is Opening in Mexico in 2025

Ulta Beauty is making its international debut next year in Mexico.

The Bolingbrook, Ill.-based beauty retailer has announced a joint venture with Axo, a global brands operator, to launch and operate Ulta in Mexico in 2025.

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The announcement comes the same day as Fabrizio Freda, the chief executive officer of the Estée Lauder Cos., highlighted Mexico as a top-performing emerging market for the beauty company.

Dave Kimbell, Ulta’s CEO said: “International expansion represents an incremental, long-term opportunity for Ulta Beauty to extend our reach and leverage our differentiated value proposition.”

In 2019, the retailer announced a Canada launch under previous CEO Mary Dillon, but that never materialized.

News of the Mexico joint venture was revealed in Ulta’s fourth-quarter earnings for the period ended Feb. 3.

Net sales increased 10.2 percent year-over-year to $3.6 billion, compared to $3.2 billion, primarily due to increased comparable sales. Wall Street had forecast $3.53 billion. Net income increased 15.7 percent to $394.4 million, compared to $340.8 million.

Skin care was its best-performing category, delivering double-digit comp growth. Dermatologist-recommended brands continued to appeal to consumers, fueling growth for La Roche Pose, Dermalogica and Cetaphil at the retailer.

The fragrance category also delivered low double-digit comp growth, while sales for the makeup category decreased in the low-single-digit range. In the latter, softness in prestige cosmetics was partially offset by growth in mass makeup.

Elsewhere, comp sales for the hair care category decreased in the mid-single-digit range, primarily due to a decline in hair tools and the lapping of strong brand launches in 2022.

“We closed out a strong 2023 with better-than-expected fourth-quarter financial performance. Our compelling holiday plans and thoughtfully curated assortment resonated with our guests and delivered healthy traffic, record brand awareness and strong member growth,” Kimbell said. “We enter 2024 well-positioned to drive strong top and bottom-line growth, build on our foundational capabilities and unlock further advantages of our differentiated model.”

For fiscal 2024, the retailer is forecasting net sales of $11.7 billion to $11.8 billion and diluted earnings per share of $26.20 to $27. Ulta plans to open between 60 and 65 net new stores in the year.

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