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Retail Trends

Power Players Health And Beauty

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Health and beauty care retailers enjoyed a pretty decent year, with same store sales gaining about 6 percent and the average store ringing up $1.4 million in sales. The category leader is Bath & Body Works, part of the former Limited Brands, which recently abbreviated its name to L Brands to further distance itself from erstwhile sibling Limited Stores.

Bath & Body Works is a global brand selling through a network of more than 1,600 North American stores, as well as its website and franchised international locations. The chain has been closing more stores than it has opened the last couple of years, but still boosted same store sales about 7 percent last year and increased operating profit by 18 percent. The company says net sales results were primarily driven by increases “across most categories including Signature Collection, home fragrance and soaps and sanitizers.”

In June Sally Beauty, which has a two-tiered business model that involves both professional customers and retail sales, acquired Essential Salon Products for its wholesale Beauty Systems Group. The retail business — which celebrates its 50th birthday next year — operates stores that average 1,700 sq. ft. and are located primarily in strip shopping centers. The company opened 129 stores and acquired 22 others last year.

Ulta Beauty stores feature 20,000 SKUs in both self-service displays and a full-service boutique in about 10,000 sq. ft. of selling space. The company opened 102 stores last year while remodeling 21 and relocating three others, with an eventual goal of operating 1,200 units. The company enjoyed same store sales gains of 9 percent in 2012.