Daily Insights

Ulta Finds Clean Authority via Credo Beauty Partnership

By: Maile McCann | Jul 15, 2020

As highlighted in Gartner’s “Assessing the Opportunities of Clean and Wellness in Beauty and Personal Care” report, Sephora and Target have a headstart in cementing their statuses as clean authorities in the beauty and personal care spaces, respectively. With programs highlighting brands that follow strict ingredient standards (e.g., no phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, etc) via product badges or icons, Sephora and Target communicate clear standards of clean product credentials to consumers. Following this clean investment, both Sephora and Target saw dividends, driving high overall clean beauty visits as well as year-over-year growth. Peers Walmart and Ulta, on the other hand, left clean status a little more ambiguous and paced behind in total clean visits. However, this may change with Ulta’s new partnership with clean-only-retailer Credo Beauty.

Eight brands from Credo Beauty, a clean-only retailer founded in 2015 that touts the tenets of sourcing, safety, ethics, and sustainability as well as a banned ingredient list of over 2,700 ingredients, will arrive at 100 Ulta doors in the fall. Chief operating officer at Credo, Annie Jackson, is excited to scale its reach across the country and beyond its current nine big-city retail locations. 

Ulta, for its part, is investing in Credo’s clean authority. Despite its small size, Credo currently outpaces the mega-retailer in site visits to clean beauty pages, increasing visits 50% year-over-year. Instead of investing in an Ulta-defined clean beauty program and keeping category authority in-house, Ulta adapted to increasing consumer clean interest by outsourcing credential-building to the respected Credo.