When Ulta’s Self-Inflicted Wounds Heal, Watch Out for Amazon

Eeesh. Fast-growing cosmetics chain Ulta (ULTA) has taken to shooting itself in the foot of late, first losing a CEO a month ago and this week projecting slower-than-expected near-term sales growth, sending its shares into repeated nosedives, as seen in a stock chart.

ULTA Chart

ULTA data by YCharts

As Amy Merrick reported on YCharts earlier this month, the the real threat, once Ulta finds a permanent CEO and gets its operations and expectations in sync, could be Amazon (AMZN), the Suicide Bomber of Retail. The online retailer cuts prices in many markets, ruining the results of competitors, like Best Buy (BBY), and its own, as well.

AMZN Revenue TTM Chart

AMZN Revenue TTM data by YCharts

As the prior YCharts piece noted: “William Blair analyst Mark Miller notes that Amazon’s prices are, on average, 15.7% lower than Ulta’s for the same products. In a randomly selected basket of Ulta items, Amazon carried 74% of them, up from 69% in a previous survey.”

You can't go to Amazon and try out lipstick colors, but once you have a favorite you can certainly buy it cheap online.

Jeff Bailey, The Editor of YCharts, is a former reporter, editor and columnist at the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. He can be reached at editor@ycharts.com.

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