Meanwhile, Dick’s Sporting Goods’ online sales fall, stores play a huge role in Kohl's fulfillment, 1-800-Flowers.com adds 6.5 million new customers, online sales increase at Lowe’s and JD.com beats analyst expectations with online sales growth.

Ulta Beauty Inc.’s ecommerce sales fell in its fiscal second quarter ended July 31, 2021, compared with the same period last year when it grew 200% year over year. CEO Dave Kimbell says its ecommerce sales this year were more than double its 2019 levels but declined to reveal specifics.

“The [ecommerce] sales decline was driven by the decrease in the number of transactions, [but] the average ticket remains strong,” Kimbell said in an earnings transcript from SeekingAlpha. However, shoppers using Ulta’s omnichannel services totaled 20% of its ecommerce sales in the quarter, he said.

“Omnichannel guests are among our very best guests,” Kimbell said. “Last year, with the stores being closed and the dramatic increase in our ecommerce, we introduced a whole lot of new consumers to our ecommerce business. Now, some of them have gone back to shopping only in-store, but most of them are continuing to shop in an omnichannel way and the behavior is really positive, both helping to deliver our Q2 results.”

Total sales increased 60.2% to $1.97 billion compared with $1.23 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2020. And for the first six months of fiscal 2021, Ulta’s total sales increased 62.7% to $3.91 billion compared with $2.40 billion in the first six months of fiscal 2020.

Ulta, No. 45 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000, also raised its sales outlook after its second-quarter results topped expectations. The beauty merchant now expects sales of as much as $8.3 billion this year, Ulta said, up from a previous forecast of no more than $7.8 billion. The company also said the key gauge of same-store sales would rise as much as 32%, versus a previous 23-25% projection.

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“We feel very confident in the path ahead,” Kimbell said. The beauty industry is “healthy and recovering at a pace faster than we anticipated.”

Ulta also is speeding up its retail expansion. It plans to open 44 new stores by the end of its fiscal year, up from a previous plan to open 40. It ended its fiscal second quarter with 1,296 stores.

Additionally, following its announcement late last year, Ulta launched in mid-August its mini-stores inside 58 Target Corp. (No. 6) stores and online on Target.com. It plans to have Ulta mini-stores in 100 Target locations by the end of the next quarter, Kimbell said. The stores take up about 1,000 square feet of space and are located next to Target’s existing beauty section.

Ulta is now available in 58 Target stores and on Target.com.

In other earnings news:

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  • Dick’s Sporting Goods (No. 29) reported total sales in the fiscal second quarter ended July 31, 2021, rose 20.7% to $3.3 million, up from $2.7 million in the same period a year ago. Online sales grew 111% compared with 2019, said CEO Lauren Hobart on an earnings call transcribed by SeekingAlpha. This was a 28% decline compared with the same period in 2020. As a percent of total net sales, its online business has grown to 18% in the current quarter from 12% in 2019, she said. Ecommerce penetration was 30% last year, according to Dick’s. “We continued to improve our online shopping experience,” Hobart said. “This includes our strategy to lead with mobile, which for the first half of 2021, represented over 50% of our online sales, as well as faster delivery times and an enhanced shopping and checkout experience.”
  • Total sales at Lowe’s Cos. Inc. (No. 12) for the second quarter ended July 30, 2021, rose 1.0% to $27.57 billion compared with $27.30 billion in the second quarter of 2020. Its online sales grew 7% in this quarter, which represented a 9% sales penetration, said CEO Marvin Ellison on an earnings call transcribed by Seeking Alpha. In addition, Lowe’s said approximately 60% of online orders were picked up in its stores. “Our enhanced omnichannel offering continues to resonate with our customers who increasingly expect total flexibility in shopping, however, whenever and wherever they choose,” Ellison said.
  • Apparel retail chain Kohl’s Corp. (No. 18) reported digital sales were 26% of its total sales in its fiscal Q2 2021, ended July 31. This is down from a 40% online penetration in 2020, but up from a 20% penetration in 2019, said CEO Michelle Gass to investors according to a SeekingAlpha transcript. Digital sales increased 35% in Q2 2021 compared with the same period in 2019. Its total revenue increased 30.5% year over year to $4.45 billion in Q2 2021 from $3.01 billion in the year-ago period. Stores fulfilled nearly 40% of online sales in Q2 2021, either through ship-from-store or customer pickup, Gass said.
    Kohl’s is also in the process of opening a total of 850 Sephora stores within Koh’s stores. 200 will be opened in 2021, 400 in 2022 and the remaining by 2023. Sephora products launched online at Kohl’s on Aug. 1. “We’re fully expecting that as customers come in, yes, they’ll shop in Sephora, but then they’ll see these amazing brands and the Kohl’s experience around them,” Gass said. “The same will go true as it relates to the digital experience if they’re coming online and buying Sephora online. Will be able to see what’s in their basket. We have strong digital marketing capabilities and very strong personalization capabilities.”
  • Online flowers and gifts merchant 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. (No. 67) reported that total revenue increased 16.5% to $487.0 million for the fiscal fourth quarter ended June 27, 2021, compared with $418.0 million in the prior-year period. Total revenue for the full year increased 42.5% to $2.12 billion, compared with $1.49 billion in the prior year. 1-800-Flowers.com says this reflects growth across its operations and includes contributions from PersonalizationMall.com, which it acquired in August of 2020. In fiscal 2021, the online flower merchant added more than 6.5 million new customers, said CEO Chris McCann on an earnings call transcribed by SeekingAlpha. 1-800-Flowers.com says it has 13 million total active customers for fiscal 2021, representing 64% of its total revenue.
  • JD.com Inc., No. 1 in the Digital Commerce 360 Asia 450, reported online sales that beat analyst estimates as consumer spending improved, defying a crackdown on the Chinese internet sector that has dragged on growth across the industry. The ecommerce giant posted sales of 253.8 billion yuan ($39.16 billion) for the three months ended June 30. The 26% growth is the slowest since China first emerged from the pandemic last year. Net income tumbled to 794.3 million yuan ($122.6 million), down from 16.4 billion yuan ($2.53 billion) a year earlier.

Bloomberg News contributed to this report. 

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

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