Ecommerce sales boom thanks to curbside and BOPIS at Ulta. Plus, blossoms to record growth in its fiscal Q4.

The story for cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty Inc. repeats itself for a second quarter in a row: Online sales increase while overall revenue declines as a result of store closures during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Curbside pickup and buy online pick up in store boosted ecommerce sales to a record 200% growth for the fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 1. Those omnichannel options made up 20% of all of Ulta’s ecommerce sales. Ulta is No. 69 in the 2020 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000.

However, overall sales decreased by 26.3% to $1.22 billion compared with $1.67 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2019. This decrease is still an improvement over Ulta’s fiscal Q1 sales decrease of 33%. CEO Mary Dillon credits the slight improvement to its stores reopening throughout Q2.

“We believe it’ll take some time to fully return to pre-COVID levels and expect demand will continue to be suppressed for the rest of the year, given the likely ongoing disruptions we’ll see as we continue to live with the realities of COVID-19,” Dillon said on an earnings call, according to a transcript on Seeking Alpha.


Its active members—those who have shopped with Ulta at least once in the last 12 months—of its Ultamate Rewards loyalty program decreased 4% year over year. However, its omnichannel members are its “most engaged and most productive members,” Dillon said, as they spend three times more per year than store-only member shoppers. Loyalty members who make omnichannel purchases (those who purchase via BOPIS and curbside) grew 21% year over year in Q2, and loyalty members who are online-only shoppers represented 7.5% of its total members.

“New member acquisitions through our digital channels continue to expand at healthy rates, and we continue to see previously in-store only members engage with us online with greater frequency,” Dillon said.

Because of its omnichannel growth over the last two quarters, Ulta says it plans to accelerate the opening of its Jacksonville, Florida, fulfillment facility, increase order-processing capacity in its existing distribution centers and expand ship-from-store capabilities to an additional 100 stores.

For the fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 1, Ulta reports:

  • Net sales decreased 26.3% year over year to $1.22 billion compared with $1.67 billion.
  • Gross profit decreased 45.7% to $329.0 million year over year compared with $605.9 million.
  • Net income was down 95.0% to $8.1 million year over year compared with $161.3 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2019.

For the first six months of fiscal 2020, Ulta reports:

  • Net sales decreased 29.6% to $2.40 billion compared with $3.41 billion in the first six months of fiscal 2019.
  • Gross profit decreased 49.4% to $632.6 million compared with $1.25 billion in the first six months of fiscal 2019.
  • Net loss was $70.5 million compared with net income of $353.5 million in the first six months of fiscal 2019.’ Q4 and full-year sales spike

Online flower and gifts retailer Inc. (No. 66) blossomed in its fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended June 28. Its revenue increased 61.1% in Q4 and rose 19.3% for the full year, reported. says it also completed its acquisition of earlier in August. It announced the purchase of the retailer from Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. for $252.0 million in February.


“You can say this took us a while to get this one done… and we are very pleased to have closed the acquisition well ahead of the key holiday season with that business up [and] running and already growing nicely on a year-over-year basis,” said CEO Chris McCann on an earnings call transcribed by Seeking Alpha without revealing more details.

The retailer is not providing fiscal 2021 guidance due to the uncertainty presented by the coronavirus.

“We believe that we will continue to benefit from the macro shift of consumers to ecommerce, the strong growth in our customer files, the recent addition of the business and the prevailing consumer sentiments of expression and connection that are at the core of our vision as a company,” McCann said.

For the fiscal fourth quarter, reports:

  • Total net revenue increased a record 61.1% $418.0 million, compared with $259.4 million in the prior-year period.
  • Net income was $9.8 million, compared with a net loss of $8.3 million in the prior-year period.

For the fiscal full year 2020, reports:

  • Total net revenue increased 19.3% to $1.49 billion, compared with $1.25 billion in the prior year.
  • Net income was $59.0 million, compared with $34.8 million in the prior year.

Percentage changes may not align exactly with dollar figures due to rounding.