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Ulta Beauty CEO wants to double market share

The booming age of cellphones isn't just benefiting the technology industry — Ulta Beauty is now reaping the rewards of a "selfie" culture that prompts people to be camera ready at all times, CEO Mary Dillon said.

This was one of the catalysts behind the higher guidance that boosted the stock 11 percent on Thursday.

"We are really focused on the beauty enthusiast ... but also as you know, everybody has got a great phone in their pocket. Everybody is taking pictures. Who doesn't want to look good in a picture? I don't know anybody who doesn't," Dillon told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer.

At its analyst and investor day on Thursday, Ulta upped its comparable-store sales growth outlook to 7 to 9 percent from 2017 to 2019, compared with previous guidance of 5 to 7 percent long-term comparable growth. The company also expects same-store sales growth of 14 to 15 percent, up from 11 to 13 percent previously.

"We have been growing like crazy. I am proud of that, but we are still only a 4 percent share of the $127 billion beauty market in the U.S. today," Dillon said. "So, we see an easy path to continue to grow share. In fact, double our share, we believe in the next few years."


Mary Dillon, CEO, ULTA Beauty
Slaven Vlasic | Getty Images
Mary Dillon, CEO, ULTA Beauty

Ulta plans to expand market share in the next several years through new store expansion, its growing e-commerce business and higher store productivity.

While many brick-and-mortar retail companies are struggling to compete with Amazon, Cramer noted that Ulta has managed to build a wall around its e-commerce business and it has not damaged growth.

"Our guests, in fact, who buy online with Ulta Beauty and in our store is our best guest. But what she is buying online is quite incremental. She is not just replenishing like-items, she is buying new and exciting things all the time," Dillon said.

Dillon plans to continue to focus on millennials, teens and Latinos, who she said are one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population.

"I am very excited about the future for Ulta Beauty," Dillon said.


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