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Ulta Beauty CEO Says Partnering with the Kardashians is “Win-Win”

December 14, 2018, 2:59 PM UTC

Just about everything the Kardashians touch turns to gold. Now the question is whether they can bring that magic touch to Ulta Beauty this holiday season.

The giant cosmetics retailer has an exclusive deal to sell Kim Kardashian’s fragrances and also a new cosmetics line from Kylie Jenner, Kim’s half sister. Just as the holiday shopping season kicked off, the beauty products were launched in November in more than one thousand Ulta stores around the country.

Ulta CEO Mary Dillon says it’s too early to say how much business they will bring in, but she knows how celebrities and their social media status have a powerful sway on the buying trends of consumers, especially Millennials.

“You can imagine Kylie’s got 120 million Instagram followers and so does Kim. So that gives us the opportunity to introduce Ulta to some folks who maybe haven’t shopped here before,” says Dillon. “So that’s pretty exciting.”

The Kardashian deal is the latest savvy business move by Dillon since she became CEO in 2013. Under her leadership, she has doubled revenues to $5.6 billion in the past five years. The Bolingbrook, Illinois-based retailer is now ranked on the Fortune 500 and was also included this year on Fortune’s list of the 100 fastest growing companies.

It looks like Ulta’s makeover from stodgy makeup retailer to splashy beauty trendsetter is catching Amazon’s eye too. It is now trying to establish itself as a major player in the beauty market. But that doesn’t worry Dillon.

“We compete with everybody who sells in beauty,” she says with cool confidence. “Our job is to play our offense and do it better than anybody else.”

Watch the video above for more from my interview with Dillon.