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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, DC 20549

FORM 10-K

 Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

For the fiscal year ended January 29, 2022

or

 Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

For the transition period from _____________ to _____________

Commission File Number: 001-33764

ULTA BEAUTY, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware

(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)

38-4022268

(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

1000 Remington Blvd., Suite 120

Bolingbrook, Illinois

(Address of principal executive offices)

60440

(Zip code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (630) 410-4800

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

Trading symbol

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common stock, par value $0.01 per share

ULTA

The NASDAQ Global Select Market

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  Yes  No

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.  Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes  No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).  Yes  No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or emerging growth company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.:

Large accelerated filer 

Accelerated filer 

Non-accelerated filer    

Smaller reporting company 

Emerging growth company 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).   Yes  No

The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based upon the closing sale price of the common stock on July 30, 2021, as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, was approximately $13,829,733,000.

The number of shares of the registrant’s common stock, par value $0.01 per share, outstanding as of March 21, 2022 was 52,327,263 shares.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Information required in response to Part III of Form 10-K is hereby incorporated by reference from portions of the registrant’s Proxy Statement for the 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Such proxy statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of the registrant’s fiscal year ended January 29, 2022.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Forward Looking Statements

    

1

Part I

    

Item 1.

Business

2

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

14

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

25

Item 2.

Properties

26

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

27

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

27

Item 4A.

Executive Officers

27

Part II

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

28

Item 6.

[Reserved]

30

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

31

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

43

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

43

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

43

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

43

Item 9B.

Other Information

44

Item 9C.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

44

Part III

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

44

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

44

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

45

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

45

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

45

Part IV

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

46

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

80

Signatures

81

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

References in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to “we,” “us,” “our,” “Ulta Beauty,” the “Company” and similar references mean Ulta Beauty, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries, unless otherwise expressly stated or the context otherwise requires.

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which reflect our current views with respect to, among other things, future events and financial performance. You can identify these forward-looking statements by the use of forward-looking words such as “outlook,” “believes,” “expects,” “plans,” “estimates,” “targets,” “strategies” or other comparable words. Any forward-looking statements contained in this Form 10-K are based upon our historical performance and on current plans, estimates, and expectations. The inclusion of this forward-looking information should not be regarded as a representation by us or any other person that the future plans, estimates, targets, strategies, or expectations contemplated by us will be achieved. Such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation:

changes in the overall level of consumer spending and volatility in the economy, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and geo-political events;
the impact of current inflationary cost pressures on payroll, benefits and supply chain;
our ability to sustain our growth plans and successfully implement our long-range strategic and financial plan;
the ability to execute our operational excellence priorities, including continuous improvement, Project SOAR (our replacement enterprise resource planning platform), and supply chain optimization;
the negative impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have on our business, financial condition, profitability, cash flows and supply chain, as well as consumer spending (including future uncertain impacts);
epidemics, pandemics like COVID-19 or natural disasters that have and could continue to negatively impact sales;
our ability to gauge beauty trends and react to changing consumer preferences in a timely manner;
the possibility that we may be unable to compete effectively in our highly competitive markets;
the possibility that cybersecurity or information security breaches and other disruptions could compromise our information or result in the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information;
the possibility of material disruptions to our information systems;
the failure to maintain satisfactory compliance with applicable privacy and data protection laws and regulations;
the possibility that the capacity of our distribution and order fulfillment infrastructure and the performance of our distribution centers and fast fulfillment centers may not be adequate to support our expected future growth plans;
changes in the wholesale cost of our products;
a decline in operating results that has and may continue to lead to asset impairment and store closure charges;
the possibility that new store openings and existing locations may be impacted by developer or co-tenant issues;
our ability to attract and retain key executive personnel;
the impact of climate change on our business operations and/or supply chain;
our ability to successfully execute our common stock repurchase program or implement future common stock repurchase programs; and
other risk factors detailed in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC), including risk factors contained in Item 1A, “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 29, 2022, as such may be amended or supplemented in our subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

1

Part I

Item 1.   Business

Overview

Ulta Beauty is the largest beauty retailer in the United States and the premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skin care products, hair care products, and salon services. Key aspects of our business include:

One-of-a-kind Assortment. We offer guests a differentiated assortment of more than 25,000 products from more than 600 well-established and emerging beauty brands across a variety of categories and price points. We believe we offer the widest selection of beauty categories, including prestige and mass cosmetics, fragrance, haircare, prestige and mass skincare, bath and body products, professional hair products, and salon styling tools.

Store Footprint. We operate more than 1,300 stores predominantly located in convenient, high-traffic locations. With a bright and open store environment, we make it easy for guests to discover new products and services. Our store design, fixtures, and open layout provide the flexibility to respond to consumer trends and changes in our merchandising strategy. We also offer a full-service salon in every store featuring hair, eyebrow and other beauty services.

Leading Digital Experiences. Through our website, Ulta.com, and our mobile applications, we offer guests convenient, interactive and personalized digital experiences. Our digital channels enable always-on shopping and discovery, and our diverse fulfillment options, including buy online pick-up in store, buy online pick-up curbside, ship from store, ship to home, and same-day delivery, provide guests with value and convenience. In addition to e-commerce platforms, we offer guests a variety of unique digital experiences, including virtual try-on and skin analysis tools, which leverage augmented reality capabilities and artificial intelligence tools to provide guests with personalized experiences.

Best-in-Class Loyalty Program. Our best-in-class loyalty program, Ultamate Rewards, enables members to earn points for every dollar spent on products and beauty services at Ulta Beauty, through purchases on our private label and co-branded credit cards, and purchases at Ulta Beauty at Target.  In addition to unique membership benefits, members can redeem points for discounts on any product or service at Ulta Beauty. With more than 95% of total sales coming from members, we are uniquely positioned with a deep understanding of our customers and their preferences which enables us to personalize experiences and target communications and promotions through our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.

Great Guest Experiences. We cultivate human connection with warm and welcoming guest experiences across all of our channels. Our knowledgeable and approachable store associates, our differentiated service offerings, and our efforts to create relevant, compelling digital content are competitive advantages and enable us to build strong engagement with guests.

We were founded in 1990 as a beauty retailer at a time when prestige, mass, and salon products were sold through distinct channels — department stores for prestige products; drug stores and mass merchandisers for mass products; and salons and authorized retail outlets for professional hair care products. We developed a unique specialty retail concept that offers a broad range of brands and price points, select beauty services, and a convenient and welcoming shopping environment. We define our target consumer as a beauty enthusiast, a consumer who is passionate about the beauty category, uses beauty for self-expression, experimentation, and self-investment, and has high expectations for the shopping experience. We estimate that female beauty enthusiasts represent approximately 60% of shoppers and 75% of spend in the U.S. beauty category.

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The following description of our business should be read in conjunction with the information contained in our Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included in Item 7 and our Financial Statements and Supplementary Data included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Our strategy

We target beauty enthusiasts across multiple demographics and shopping behaviors. Beauty enthusiasts have a deep emotional connection with beauty, and historically, this connection has not diminished in softer economic environments. Our proprietary consumer research confirms engagement with the beauty category remains strong, but the unprecedented disruption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has had sustained effects on the category. Consumers are approaching their desire for normalcy with caution, reengaging in retail shopping visits while also holding to some of their new online shopping behaviors. In addition, the operational and competitive landscape remains dynamic, and many costs are increasing, including supply chain and labor costs.

Reflecting our understanding about how the consumer and beauty category are evolving, we have refreshed our strategic framework to position Ulta Beauty for continued success. We are focused on six key strategic pillars designed to expand our market leadership and drive longer-term profitable growth.

Drive breakthrough and disruptive growth through an expanded definition of All Things Beauty. Beauty enthusiasts enjoy the experience of discovering and trying new products and increasingly include beauty as part of their self-care and wellness journey. Reflecting these insights, our objective is to engage and continuously delight beauty enthusiasts with a curated, differentiated, inclusive assortment focused on leading beauty and self-care trends. We are focused on four key areas: maximizing growth in core categories, including makeup, skincare, haircare, and fragrance; driving growth of cross-category strategic platforms, including Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty®, Black-owned and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-founded Brands, and the Wellness Shop; differentiating our assortment through exclusive brands and products, including our private label, Ulta Beauty Collection; and increasing profitability through assortment management, inventory productivity, and promotional optimization.

Evolve the omnichannel experience through connected physical and digital ecosystems, All In Your World. Our guest insights and member data confirm that beauty enthusiasts prefer to transact in physical stores, where they can discover and interact with products and other beauty enthusiasts. At the same time, digital channels offer convenience, product reviews, and price transparency. As a result, the guest journey is increasingly blurring across physical and digital channels. To drive greater guest engagement across all channels, we intend to expand our physical footprint, continue to differentiate our service offerings, and grow our buy anywhere, fill anywhere capabilities while further enhancing our digital and mobile experiences and driving competitive advantage through digital innovation. Our objective is to deliver a cohesive, industry-leading omnichannel experience that drives breakthrough engagement with our guests and unlocks the combined potential of our physical and digital channels.

Expand and deepen our presence across the beauty journey, solidifying Ulta Beauty at the Heart of the Beauty Community. To understand longer-term shifts in consumer values, perceptions, and behaviors, as well as of-the-moment insights, we have developed a robust consumer research capability. In addition, with more than 95% of total sales coming from members of our Ultamate Rewards loyalty program, we have unique insights about customer preferences and behavior. Based on our proprietary insights, we know beauty enthusiasts have an emotional, personal, and deep connection with beauty. Social media contributes to this connection, and we expect the influence and reach of beauty will continue to grow as engagement with social platforms increases. To expand Ulta Beauty’s reach, relevancy, and guest engagement, we intend to amplify our brand purpose; build a creator and content ecosystem to deliver compelling, relevant beauty-tainment; leverage the power of live streaming and social selling; drive further innovation in our Ultamate Rewards program; and use our member data to increase personalization and drive conversion. Our vision is to expand and deepen our presence across the beauty journey to increase consumer acquisition and drive guest engagement, loyalty, and share of wallet.

Drive operational excellence and optimization. Similar to other retailers, we are experiencing cost pressures from macroeconomic trends, including rising wage rates and higher transportation and shipping costs. In addition, we are managing ongoing headwinds from channel and category mix shifts. To mitigate the impact of these pressures and

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support our future growth, we have developed a continuous improvement capability to identify and activate meaningful, cross-functional process optimization opportunities; we are upgrading our enterprise resource planning platform to increase efficiency and support future growth; and we are enhancing our supply chain network to increase agility, speed and cost-efficiency. Our vision is to deliver profitable growth and competitive advantage by optimizing our cost structure to enable scale, developing agile operating processes that enable real-time visibility and decision-making, and building new capabilities tailored to win in a rapidly evolving omnichannel world.

Protect and cultivate our world-class culture and talent. We have developed and nurtured a guest and associate-centric, values-based and high-performance culture. These tenets are core to how we lead, how we engage with our guests and partners, and how we make decisions. We value and encourage collaboration and enterprise thinking, and we respect and listen to our associates to continually improve as a company. We have an experienced leadership team and committed, passionate associates committed to living our values while caring for our guests and for each other. To support our growth and enhance the guest experience, we will continue to attract, develop and retain talent at all levels and in all functional areas, and we will continue to work to create an environment where every associate feels they can fully contribute and have an opportunity to grow.

Expand our environmental and social impact. As a leader in the beauty industry, we have an opportunity to drive positive impact. We believe that beauty is for everyone, regardless of age, size, ability, skin tone, culture, or gender, and we strive to provide an environment where every associate feels they can realize their full potential and every guest is optimally served, regardless of differences. We empower and inspire guests to make informed and sustainable product choices through our unique Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty® program, and we strive to protect the beauty of our natural environment and minimize our impact on the world around us by managing our stores’ energy, water, and waste footprints. We are committed to making the world a better place, and we are focused on driving sustainable change in areas where we can make the biggest impact and committed to collaborating with others to address shared challenges.

Our market

We operate within the large and growing U.S. beauty products and salon services industry. In 2021, this market represented approximately $140 billion in sales, according to forecasted Euromonitor International and IBIS World Inc. In 2021, the beauty products industry totaled approximately $91 billion and included cosmetics, haircare, fragrance, bath and body, skincare, salon styling tools, and other toiletries. We estimate that Ulta Beauty had only a 9% share of the $91 billion beauty product industry. Within this market, we compete across all major categories as well as a range of price points by offering prestige, mass, and salon products. In 2021, the salon services industry totaled approximately $49 billion and included hair, skin, and nail services. We estimate that Ulta Beauty had less than 1% share of this industry. We have full-service hair salons and skin services in substantially every store and operate brow bars in most of our stores, as well as makeup services through our salons. Due to remaining COVID-19 related restrictions, our services offering was limited in our fiscal year ended January 29, 2022 (fiscal 2021), but we have plans to resume these services as soon as it is safe to do so.

While both the industry and our business was impacted by ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, particularly in salon services, our research indicates that Ulta Beauty continues to increase market share across most prestige beauty categories in the overall U.S. market. We expect the beauty category will continue its recovery as consumers recover from the impacts of COVID-19, and we remain confident that our differentiated and diverse business model, our commitment to strategic investments, and our highly engaged associates will continue to drive market share gains for Ulta Beauty.

Competition

Our major competitors for prestige and mass products include traditional department stores, specialty stores, grocery stores, drug stores, mass merchandisers, and the online capabilities of national retailers and brands, as well as pure-play e-commerce companies. The market for salon services and products is highly fragmented. Our competitors for salon services and products include chain and independent salons.

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Our retail channels

We are committed to meeting guests where and how they want to shop and strive to offer guests a compelling, personalized shopping experience through our stores, website, mobile applications, and partnerships.

Stores. Our member data suggests our guests prefer to transact in physical stores, where they can discover and interact with products and other beauty enthusiasts. In fiscal 2021, 75% of our loyalty members only shopped in Ulta Beauty stores. Our retail stores are predominantly located in convenient, high-traffic locations such as power strip centers. Our typical store is approximately 10,000 square feet, including approximately 950 square feet dedicated to our full-service salon. Our retail store concept, including physical layout, displays, lighting, and quality of finishes, has changed over time to reflect the rising expectations of our guests and our evolving merchandising and operating strategies.

We offer a full range of beauty services in all of our stores, focusing on hair, skin, makeup, and brow services. Our current Ulta Beauty store format includes an open and modern salon area and a skin treatment room or dedicated skin treatment area on the sales floor. In addition, most of our stores offer brow services on the sales floor. The salon features a concierge desk, approximately five to ten stations, and a shampoo and hair color processing area. We employ highly skilled, licensed professional stylists and estheticians who offer services as well as educational experiences, including consultations, styling lessons, makeup applications, skincare regimens, and at-home care recommendations. Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, we operated at less-than-full capacity for salon and brow services for most of fiscal 2021. While we lifted capacity constraints for most salon and brow services in fiscal 2021, we were unable to offer makeup services in all stores and skin services in most stores due to remaining COVID-19 related restrictions. We have plans to resume these services as soon as it is safe to do so.

During fiscal 2021, 71% of new stores opened in existing shopping centers and 29% opened in new shopping centers. All new stores were opened in existing markets. As of January 29, 2022, we operated 1,308 stores across 50 states.

In addition to opening new stores, we also remodeled, relocated, or refreshed (in-store fixtures and merchandising upgrades) certain stores, as shown in the following table:

Fiscal year ended

    

January 29,

   

January 30,

    

February 1,

2022

2021

2020

Total stores beginning of period

1,264

1,254

1,174

Stores opened

48

30

86

Stores closed

(4)

(20)

(6)

Total stores end of period

1,308

1,264

1,254

Total square footage

13,770,438

13,291,838

13,193,076

Average square footage per store

10,528

10,516

10,521

Stores remodeled

9

12

Stores relocated

7

5

8

Stores refreshed

240

Our real estate vision is to make Ulta Beauty accessible and convenient to more consumers across a variety of markets, a key driver of how we plan to expand our market share over time. We believe that over the long term, we have the potential to grow our store footprint to between 1,500 to 1,700 freestanding Ulta Beauty stores in the United States. In addition, over the long term we expect to open up to 800 Ulta Beauty at Target shops.

We leverage a variety of insights to identify the best new store locations and optimize our current store locations, including beauty market share information and insights from our loyalty members. This insight-led, analytical approach to site selection has resulted in a high performing real estate portfolio. The average investment required to open a new Ulta Beauty store is approximately $1.4 million, which includes capital investments, net of landlord contributions, pre-

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opening expenses, and initial inventory, net of payables. Our net investment required to open new stores and the net sales generated by new stores may vary depending on a number of factors, including geographic location.

Digital platform. In addition to store expansion, we continue to expand our digital capabilities as more of our guests choose to engage with us across physical and digital platforms. In fiscal 2021, 17% of our loyalty members shopped in Ulta Beauty stores and through our digital platforms. Our e-commerce platform has two key roles: generating direct channel sales and profits by communicating with our guests in an interactive, enjoyable way that reinforces the Ulta Beauty brand; and driving traffic to our stores, website, and native applications. Our omnichannel guests are extremely valuable, historically spending nearly three times as much as retail-only guests. We continue to develop and add new website and mobile features and functionality, marketing programs, new products and brands, and omnichannel integration points. We intend to establish ourselves as a leading online beauty resource by providing our guests with a rich online experience, with information on key trends and products, editorial content, expanded assortments, interactive experiences, including virtual try-on capabilities, and social media content.

We continue to improve our order fulfillment capabilities with increased speed of delivery through existing distribution centers, fast fulfillment centers (e-commerce only), and select retail stores, and through more efficient processes designed for e-commerce order fulfillment. In addition to ship to home order fulfillment, we offer guests “Buy Online, Pick-up in Store,” “Curbside Pickup,” and “Store 2 Door,” which provides the ability for customers to order in-store and have products delivered to their homes. In fiscal 2021, we launched same-day delivery for e-commerce orders in select markets.

Partnerships

To expand our reach and introduce new guests to Ulta Beauty, we have formed a long-term partnership with Target Corporation to create Ulta Beauty at Target, a “shop-in-shop” concept that offers a curated assortment of more than 50 established and emerging prestige brands across a variety of categories. Co-designed by Ulta Beauty and Target, the Ulta Beauty at Target shop is intended to mirror the Ulta Beauty experience with a unique and elevated presentation in 1,000 square feet of dedicated space separate but adjacent to Target’s core beauty department. The shop is staffed by Target team members who are trained by Ulta Beauty to provide recommendations and answer product questions. Members in our loyalty program, Ultamate Rewards, can accumulate points (but not redeem) for purchases made in the Ulta Beauty at Target shop. Loyalty points can only be redeemed in Ulta Beauty stores, on Ulta.com or through our mobile applications. As of January 29, 2022, Ulta Beauty at Target was available in approximately 100 Target locations and on target.com. Over time, we believe Ulta Beauty at Target can be in up to 800 Target locations.

Merchandising

Strategy

We offer one of the most extensive product and brand selections in our industry, including a broad assortment of branded and private label beauty products in cosmetics, fragrance, haircare, skincare, bath and body products, and salon styling tools. Across our stores, Ulta.com and our mobile applications, we offer more than 25,000 products from more than 600 well-established and emerging beauty brands across all categories and price points, including Ulta Beauty’s own private label, the Ulta Beauty Collection. Our merchandising team continually monitors beauty and fashion trends, historical sales trends, and new product launches to keep Ulta Beauty’s product assortment fresh and relevant and to ensure that our assortment reflects the diversity of our guests. We believe our broad selection of merchandise, from moderate-priced brands to higher-end prestige brands, creates a unique shopping experience for our guests.

Certain beauty enthusiasts are growing more interested in choosing products that support their own personal well-being and the well-being of workers, animals, communities, and the environment, and they are increasingly supporting brands whose products and actions align with their own values. Reflecting this growing importance of these trends, in fiscal 2020 we launched Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty® in all stores, on Ulta.com, and on our mobile applications. This holistic initiative provides transparency for guests to help them choose brands and products that reflect their personal values and individual needs. Through this initiative, we certify brands and products across four key pillars, Clean Ingredients, Cruelty Free, Vegan, and Sustainable Packaging, and recognize brands for their Positive Impact on our

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community. Displayed in stores on an endcap constructed of recycled and recyclable materials, the program launched with 187 brands. As of January 29, 2022, more than 270 brands participated in the program, with more than half certified in more than one pillar. As part of the launch, we published our “Made Without List,” an evolving ingredient standard for clean beauty products, and established the Conscious Beauty Advisory Council, a coalition of experts at the forefront of clean beauty, product development, and packaging sustainability. With the help of our Advisory Council, we will ensure that Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty® will continue to evolve and grow as expectations and standards for clean beauty continue to change.

During the past few years there has been a growing focus for consumers on self-care. Based on internal proprietary research, 65% of consumers see the beauty category as being significantly connected to wellness. In response to this trend, we launched The Wellness Shop in select stores and online that offers an assortment of products across five platforms: everyday care, supplements and ingestibles, relax and renew, down there care, and spa at home.

We have a long tradition of being a diversity-forward company. We aspire to be beauty at its most inclusive and have made several important commitments across our marketing, assortment and training efforts to ensure guests, associates, partners and communities feel connected to and reflected at Ulta Beauty and are able to discover beauty on their own terms. During fiscal 2021, we doubled the number of Black-owned brands in our assortment and are committed to dedicate 15% of our total assortment to Black-owned, Black-founded and Black-led brands over time.

We believe our private label, the Ulta Beauty Collection, is a strategically important opportunity for growth and profit contribution. Our objective is to provide quality, trend-right private label products to continue to strengthen our guests’ perception of Ulta Beauty as a contemporary beauty destination. Ulta Beauty manages the full development cycle of these products from concept through production to deliver differentiated packaging and formulas that enhance our brand image. The Ulta Beauty Collection has been certified in the Clean Ingredients and Cruelty Free pillars within the Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty® program. We also offer products such as Tarte Double Duty Beauty cosmetics, IT Brushes for Ulta Beauty, and CHI for Ulta Beauty hair care appliances that are permanently exclusive to Ulta Beauty. Similarly, we offer a number of brands and products that are exclusive for a limited period of time or are offered in advance of our competitors, such as Morphe, Colourpop, Juvia’s Place, Chanel and Florence. The Ulta Beauty Collection and permanent Ulta Beauty exclusive products represented approximately 4.5% of our total net sales in fiscal 2021. Both permanent and temporary exclusive products represented approximately 11.0% of our total net sales in fiscal 2021.

Categories

We offer a balanced portfolio across six primary categories: (1) cosmetics; (2) haircare products and styling tools; (3) skincare; (4) fragrance and bath; (5) services; and (6) accessories and other, which includes other revenue sources such as the private label and co-branded credit card programs, royalties derived from the partnership with Target, and deferred revenue related to the loyalty program and gift card breakage.

The following table sets forth the approximate percentage of net sales attributed to each category for the periods presented:

Fiscal year ended

January 29,

January 30,

February 1,

(Percentage of net sales)

2022

2021

2020

Cosmetics (1)

43%

45%

51%

Haircare products and styling tools (1)

20%

20%

18%

Skincare (1)

17%

16%

14%

Fragrance and bath

14%

12%

9%

Services

3%

3%

5%

Accessories and other (1)

3%

4%

3%

100%

100%

100%

(1) Certain sales departments were reclassified between categories in the prior year to conform to current year presentation.

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Organization

Our merchandising team consists of a Chief Merchandising Officer who oversees the Senior Vice President of Cosmetics and category Vice Presidents who in turn oversee Divisional Merchandise Managers and their teams of buyers. Our Chief Merchandising Officer also oversees our centralized merchandise planning and forecasting group to ensure consistent execution across our omnichannel platforms and our planogram team.

In stores, we present products in an open-sell environment using centrally produced planograms (detailed schematics showing product placement in the store) and promotional merchandising planners. Our planogram team assists the merchants and inventory teams to keep new products flowing into stores on a timely basis. All major product categories undergo planogram revisions on a regular basis, and adjustments are made to assortment mix and product placement based on current sales trends. Our visual team works with our merchandising team to develop strategic placement of promotional merchandise, functional and educational signage, and creative product presentation standards in all of our stores. All stores receive centrally produced promotional merchandising planners to ensure consistent implementation of our marketing programs.

Planning and allocation

We have developed a disciplined approach to buying and a dynamic inventory planning and allocation process to support our merchandising strategy. We centrally manage product replenishment to our stores through our merchandise planning group. This group serves as a strategic partner to, and provides financial oversight of, the merchandising team. The merchandising team creates a sales forecast by category for the year. Our merchandise planning group creates an open-to-buy plan, approved by senior executives, for each product category. The open-to-buy plan is updated weekly with point-of-sale (POS) data, receipts, and inventory levels and is used throughout the year to balance buying opportunities and inventory return on investment. We believe this structure maximizes our buying opportunities while maintaining organizational and financial control. POS data is used to calculate sales forecasts and to determine replenishment levels. We determine promotional product replenishment levels using sales history from similar or comparable events. To ensure our inventory remains productive, our planning and replenishment group, along with senior executives, monitor the levels of clearance and aged inventory in our stores on a weekly basis.

Brand partnerships

We have strong, active relationships with our brand partners. Our top ten brand partners, such as Estée Lauder Companies and L’Oréal among others, represented approximately 54% and 56% of our total net sales in fiscal 2021 and January 30, 2021 (fiscal 2020), respectively. We believe our brand partners view us as a significant distribution channel for growth and brand enhancement, and we work closely with them to market both new and existing brands.

All brand partners and respective subcontractors and their facilities are subject to Ulta Vendor Standards, as applicable, which set forth the ethical, legal, social, and workplace standards to meet in order to do business with Ulta Beauty. In addition to complying with Ulta Vendor Standards, many brand partners have committed to help advance our mission to maintain the beauty of our environment and minimize our impact on the world around us by offering sustainable packaging. We have made a commitment that 50% of packaging from products sold at our stores will be recyclable, refillable, or made from recycled or bio-sourced materials by 2025.

Marketing and advertising

We employ a multi-faceted marketing strategy to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to our stores, website, and mobile applications, acquire new loyalty program members, improve guest retention, increase frequency of shopping, and increase spend per member. We communicate with our guests and prospective guests through multiple vehicles, including print advertising, digital and social media, and television and radio. These vehicles highlight the breadth of our selection of prestige, mass and salon beauty products, new products and services, and special offers, as well as build our emotional connection with guests. Our comprehensive public relations strategy enhances Ulta Beauty’s reputation as a beauty destination, increases brand awareness, supports our charitable efforts related to the Ulta Beauty Charitable Foundation, and drives awareness of new products, in-store events, and new store openings.

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The Ultamate Rewards loyalty program is an important tool to increase retention of existing guests and to enhance their loyalty to the Ulta Beauty brand. Our CRM platform enables sophisticated analysis of the customer data in our loyalty member database as well as greater personalization of our marketing campaigns and day-to-day communications. Our data demonstrates that loyalty members spend more per visit as compared to non-members. The 37 million active loyalty program members generated more than 95% of total net sales in fiscal 2021. Ultamate Rewards enables customers to earn points based on their purchases at Ulta Beauty stores, through our digital platforms, and at Ulta Beauty at Target. Points earned are valid for at least one year and may be redeemed on any product we sell or service we provide in Ulta Beauty stores or through our digital platforms. To enhance our loyalty program, we offer co-branded and private label credit cards. The credit cards drive higher wallet share and greater loyalty from our rewards members, provide increased consumer insights, and offer attractive economics. Furthermore, we continue to expand our gift card program to increase distribution in our store and online channels and to retail locations in store and online through partnerships with third parties.

We are directing a growing percentage of our marketing expense towards digital, social media, and streaming advertising. We believe these channels are highly effective in communicating with existing guests, as well as driving consideration amongst those who have not yet shopped with us. Our marketing program has been effective in communicating with our existing online, mobile, and retail guests in a targeted and relevant way. Our digital marketing strategy includes search engine optimization, paid search, mobile advertising, social media, display advertising, and other digital marketing channels. Digital marketing, coupled with our national TV and radio advertising, has helped us increase brand awareness and consideration among those not familiar with Ulta Beauty, which we believe has resulted in new guests.

Staffing and operations

Retail stores

Our current Ulta Beauty store format is typically staffed with a general manager, a services manager, and three associate managers, along with approximately twenty-eight full- and part-time associates, including approximately four to eight prestige consultants and five to ten licensed salon professionals. The management team in each store reports to the general manager. The general manager oversees all store activities including salon management, inventory management, merchandising, cash management, scheduling, hiring, and guest services. Members of store management receive bonuses depending on their position and based upon various performance metrics. Each general manager reports to a District Manager, who in turn reports to a Regional Vice President of Operations, who in turn reports to a Senior Vice President of Stores, who in turn reports to the Chief Operating Officer, who in turn reports to the Chief Executive Officer. Each store team receives additional support from time to time from recruiting specialists for the retail and salon operations, regionally based talent development managers, a field loss prevention team, service district educators and service district leaders, and brand partners.

Ulta Beauty stores are open seven days a week, typically eleven hours a day, Monday through Saturday, and seven hours on Sunday. Our stores have extended hours during the holiday season.

Salon services

A typical salon is staffed with five to ten licensed salon professionals, including six or more stylists and one or two estheticians. Our most productive salons have a guest coordinator and an assistant manager. Our services district educators and brand partner education classes create a comprehensive educational program for approximately 5,400 Ulta Beauty salon professionals.

Supply chain

Our vision is to build and operate a dynamic and agile end-to-end supply chain that improves operational efficiency, performance, and guest experience to fuel organizational growth in an effective way. This includes enhanced systems and processes as well as a modernized distribution center network to support our new store and e-commerce growth. We operate four distribution centers that support both stores and e-commerce demand, and two fast fulfillment centers that

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support e-commerce orders only. In addition, 115 stores fulfill e-commerce orders as part of our ship-from-store program. In the future, we expect to introduce a fourth type of facility, a market fulfillment center, which will focus on our most productive products and support fulfilling ecommerce orders and stores, enabling us to improve service and responsiveness, especially in markets with high store and population density.

Inventory is shipped from our suppliers to our distribution centers and fast fulfillment centers. We replenish our stores with such products primarily in eaches (i.e., less-than-case quantities), which allows us to ship less than an entire case when only one or two of a particular product is required. Our distribution centers and fast fulfillment centers use warehouse management software systems to manage inventory to support product purchase decisions. Product is delivered to stores using a broad network of contract and local pool (final mile) carriers.

Human capital management

We believe our associates, with their combined skills, knowledge, experiences, and commitment to serving our guests, are among our most important resources and are critical to our continued success. We strive to make Ulta Beauty a great place to work by leading with our hearts, caring for each other in everything we do, and demonstrating integrity, authenticity and inclusivity in our daily actions.

The following table sets forth the approximate number of associates employed as of:

January 29,

2022

Full-time

16,500

Part-time

24,000

Total associates

40,500

We have no collective bargaining agreements and have not experienced any work stoppages. We believe we have good relationships with our associates.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Our goal is to create an inclusive environment where every associate feels he or she can be his or her authentic self and every guest is optimally served, regardless of differences. A critical way we achieve this is by educating all associates on the lived experiences of their peers and key moments in time that have cultural or heritage significance, as well as the unconscious beliefs and biases that shape our behavior today. We embed diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts through a cross-functional approach, led by our Chief Executive Officer, to ensure teams remain energized and motivated to lead in this critical space and integrate DEI in all that we do. We accomplish this through inclusive recruitment strategies, dedicating time to celebrate intersectionality and types of diversity that are not otherwise formally recognized, encouraging associates to build personal habits through everyday inclusive actions, and managing a diverse leaders program to empower, inspire and educate high-potential diverse associates.

In addition, we aim to ensure that all in-store experiences are equitable, fair, and unbiased. We take action to support this goal by conducting quarterly mandatory trainings for in-store associates and providing weekly learning opportunities to focus on guest perspectives and reinforce key takeaways. We offer similar training across the organization to help key decision-makers and associates in their own learning journeys and support our Champion Diversity value and inclusion competency.

The following table sets forth key metrics as of January 29, 2022:

Board of

All Other

Directors

Leadership

Associates

Women

55%

65%

91%

Men

45%

35%

9%

People of color

18%

25%

49%

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Oversight and management

We strive to make sure that our associates are at the heart of every decision we make. The Chief Human Resources Officer, along with the entire executive team, is responsible for developing and executing the Company’s human capital strategy. This includes the attraction, acquisition, development, and engagement of talent and the design of associate compensation and benefits programs. Our human capital objectives and initiatives, including the risks related to compensation policies and practices, management development and leadership succession, diversity, equity, and inclusion policies and practices, and implementation and compliance monitoring of our Code of Business Conduct, are also overseen by individual Board committees as described in our Corporate Governance Guidelines.

We believe open and honest two-way communication is critical to maintaining strong associate engagement. We regularly conduct an associate engagement survey to take the pulse of associates’ satisfaction with their roles, their leaders, and company as a whole. Our executive team reviews associate engagement and satisfaction surveys to monitor associate engagement and satisfaction with their role, their leader, and the Company as a whole. Our leadership team also hosts roundtable sessions to dive deeper on specific topics as well as additional forums, including department town halls, store and distribution center visits, and other small group gatherings.

Training and development

Our success is dependent, in part, on our ability to attract, train, retain, and motivate qualified associates at all levels of the organization. We are committed to continually developing our associates and providing career advancement opportunities. Our associates and management teams are essential to our store expansion strategy. We use a combination of existing managers, promoted associates, and outside hires to support our new stores. The majority of our promotions are internal. As we continue to promote and develop from within, we are building a bench of associates and leaders who know our company inside and out.

All of our associates participate in an interactive new-hire orientation through which each associate becomes acquainted with Ulta Beauty’s mission, vision, and values. Through our learning management system and our digital workplace system, we provide continuing education to associates throughout their careers at Ulta Beauty. Additionally, our leadership development program prepares promising future leaders for new levels of responsibility.

Compensation and benefits

Our commitment to our associates and their well-being is one of our highest priorities. We have assembled a suite of benefits that affirms and supports all that our associates contribute every day, including:

Health care coverage is offered to those who work more than 30 hours a week in any position. Coverage extends to eligible dependents, including spouses, domestic partners and children under the age of 26. We offer comprehensive medical plans that empower associates to choose the coverage that best suits them.
401(k) plan with up to a 4% company match.
Disability and life insurance.
Company-paid short-term disability pay at 80% of pay.
Additional insurance options, including legal, pet, home, and auto.
Tuition reimbursement program.
Paid time off, including an extended illness bank.
Discounts on retail products and salon services.

In addition, we believe wellness, like beauty, is more than skin deep, so we offer mental health resources, such as counseling services and access to apps, financial wellness planning and guidance, and health apps and educational resources for soon-to-be parents.

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Since 2017, the Ulta Beauty Charitable Foundation (UBCF) has supported the Associate Relief Program to assist associates facing unforeseen financial hardship. The Associate Relief Program provides short-term financial support to pay off medical bills or support temporary housing.

Sustainability

We strive to operate in an environmentally responsible manner. Our retail stores are focused on energy reduction efforts by maintaining safe indoor air for all customers while products are being used in our salons, using adequate energy-efficient lighting, managing the in-store temperatures, and making efficient use of water needed for our salon services. In addition, we will continue to look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint by investments in renewable energy credits and working with our brand partners to identify ways to work together to reduce Scope 3 emissions.

Information technology

We are committed to using technology to enhance our competitive position. We depend on a variety of information systems and technologies (including cloud technologies) to maintain and improve our competitive position and to manage the operations of our growing store base. We rely on computer systems to provide information for all areas of our business, including supply chain, merchandising, POS, e-commerce, marketing, finance, accounting, and human resources. Our core business systems consist mostly of purchased software programs that integrate together and with our internally developed software solutions. Our technology also includes a company-wide network that connects all corporate users, stores, and our distribution center infrastructure and provides communications for continual polling of sales and merchandise movement at the store level.

We manage data security and privacy at the highest levels. Our Board of Directors is actively engaged in oversight of cybersecurity, and it is part of the charter of our Audit Committee. Our Chief Executive Officer keeps the Board informed on cybersecurity and privacy matters throughout the year. Our Security Operations Center constantly and proactively monitors our network and application landscape for threats and anomalies. We have established processes for sharing data and performing third-party risk assessment and regular disaster recovery planning and response readiness testing. Our security approach also includes multiple layers of defense and testing of controls. We have strengthened our data protection capabilities through investments and training. All Ulta Beauty associates have a role as stewards of company data, and we educate them on how to keep data safe. As part of our annual Code of Business Conduct training, we train associates on how to keep devices and data safe in public places; how to avoid security threats and phishing scams; how to maintain a secure workplace; and everyday practices that help maintain the security of corporate digital devices, data and systems.

We intend to leverage our technology infrastructure and systems where appropriate to gain operational efficiencies through more effective use of our systems, people, and processes. In fiscal 2021, we began a multi-year upgrade of our enterprise resource planning platform which will provide a flexible and scalable operating environment allowing for greater business efficiency. We will continue to make investments in our information systems to facilitate growth and enhance our competitive position.

Intellectual property

We have registered trademarks in the United States and other countries. The majority of our trademark registrations contain the ULTA mark, including Ulta Beauty and two related designs, Ulta.com and Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (and design). We maintain our marks and monitor filing deadlines for renewal and continued validity. All marks that are deemed material to our business have been applied for or registered in the United States and select foreign countries, including Canada, Mexico and other countries in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

We believe our trademarks, especially those related to the Ulta Beauty brand, “All Things Beauty. All In One Place. ®”, “The Possibilities are Beautiful®”, “21 Days of Beauty®”, and “Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty®” have significant value and are important to building brand recognition.

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Government regulation

We are affected by extensive laws, governmental regulations, administrative determinations, court decisions, and similar constraints. Such laws, regulations, and other constraints exist at the federal, state, or local levels in the United States. The products we sell in our stores, such as cosmetics (including cannabidiol products), dietary supplements, food, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, medical devices, and styling tools, including our Ulta Beauty branded products, may be subject to regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state regulatory agencies, and State Attorneys General (State AGs). Such regulations principally relate to the safety, labeling, manufacturing, advertising, and distribution of the products. In addition, the salon services provided in our stores may be subject to state and local regulations.

Products classified as cosmetics (as defined in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act) are not subject to pre-market approval by the FDA, but the products must generally be safe and must be properly manufactured and labeled. Certain products, such as sunscreens and acne treatments, are classified as OTC drugs, and certain ingestible products, such as vitamins and minerals, are classified as dietary supplements. Both OTC drugs and dietary supplements have specific regulatory requirements, including ingredient, labeling, manufacturing, and holding requirements. Products such as wrinkle reducing lights may be classified as medical devices and, in addition to being subject to labeling and manufacturing requirements, may also be subject to premarketing review by the FDA. Finally, products such as styling tools (e.g. blow dryers and curling irons) are regulated by the CPSC, which has strict requirements including the requirement to report certain product defects. The labeling and packaging of all of these products may also be subject to the requirements of the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act and state specific requirements.

Further, statements we make in advertising, including statements about the safety or efficacy of products, pricing, and environmental claims, are subject to federal and state consumer protection laws, which generally prohibit unfair or deceptive practices.

Federal, state, municipal and local labor and employment statutes, laws, ordinances, regulations, mandates, and taxation laws, to which most retailers are typically subject, also impact our day-to-day operations. We are also subject to typical governmental and real estate land use restrictions and typical advertising and consumer protection laws (both federal and state). Our services business is subject to state board regulations and state licensing requirements.

In our store leases, we require our landlords to obtain all necessary governmental approvals and permits for the site to be used as a retail site, and we also ask them to obtain any governmental approvals and permits for our specific use (but at times the responsibility for obtaining governmental approvals and permits for our specific use falls to us). As applicable, we require our landlords to deliver a certificate of occupancy for any work they perform on our buildings or the shopping centers in which our stores are located. If required by the municipality, we are responsible for delivering a certificate of occupancy for any remodeling or build-outs that we perform and are responsible for complying with all applicable laws in connection with such construction projects or build-outs.

Seasonality

Our business is subject to seasonal fluctuation. Significant portions of our net sales and profits are realized during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year due to the holiday selling season. To a lesser extent, our business is also affected by Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

Available information

Our principal website address is www.ulta.com. We make available at this address under investor relations (at https://ulta.com/investor), free of charge, our proxy statement, annual report to shareholders, annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Information available on our website is not incorporated by reference in and is not deemed a part of this Form 10-K. In addition, our filings with the SEC may be accessed through the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. All statements made in any of our securities

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filings, including all forward-looking statements or information, are made as of the date of the document in which the statement is included, and we do not assume or undertake any obligation to update any of those statements or documents unless we are required to do so by law.

Item 1A.   Risk Factors

The risks described below could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, or future growth. We could also be affected by additional risks that apply to all companies operating in the United States, as well as other risks that are not presently known to us or that we currently consider to be immaterial. You should carefully consider the following risks and all of the other information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K before making an investment in our common stock.

Business, Operational and Strategic Risks

We may not be able to sustain our growth plans and successfully implement our long-range strategic, operational and financial plans, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

Our continued and future growth largely depends on our ability to implement our long-range strategic, operational and financial plans and successfully open and operate new stores on a profitable basis. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in implementing our growth plans, long-range strategic imperatives and/or operational excellence priorities, including continuous improvement, Project SOAR (our replacement enterprise resource planning platform) and supply chain optimization, and our failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

If we are unable to gauge beauty trends and react to changing consumer preferences in a timely manner, our sales may decrease.

We believe our success depends in substantial part on our ability to:

recognize and define product and beauty trends;
anticipate, gauge, and react to changing consumer preferences (including relating to sustainability of product sources and packaging, ingredient transparency, and animal welfare) in a timely manner;
translate market trends into appropriate, saleable product, and service offerings in our stores and salons in advance of our competitors;
develop and maintain vendor relationships that provide us access to the newest merchandise on reasonable terms; and
distribute merchandise to our stores in an efficient and effective manner and maintain appropriate in-stock levels.

If we are unable to anticipate and fulfill the merchandise needs of the consumer, our net sales may decrease and we may be forced to increase markdowns of slow-moving merchandise, either of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

Any significant interruption in the operations of our distribution centers could disrupt our ability to deliver merchandise to our stores in a timely manner, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

We distribute products to our stores without supplementing such deliveries with direct-to-store arrangements from vendors or wholesalers. We are a retailer carrying over 25,000 beauty products that change on a regular basis in response to beauty trends, which makes the success of our operations particularly vulnerable to disruptions in our distribution infrastructure. Any significant interruption in the operation of our supply chain infrastructure, such as disruptions in our information systems, disruptions in operations due to fire, natural disasters, or other catastrophic events, labor disagreements, inventory availability, or shipping and transportation problems, could drastically reduce our ability to

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receive and process orders and provide products and services to our stores and guests, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows. In addition, shipping and transportation costs represent a component of our cost structure and an increase in shipping and transportation costs, including as a result of inflationary pressures, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

Our e-commerce platform exposes us to certain additional risks which could adversely affect our results of operations.

We offer most of our beauty products for sale through our Ulta.com website and through our mobile applications. As a result, we encounter risks and difficulties frequently experienced by internet-based businesses, including risks related to our ability to attract and retain customers on a cost-effective basis and our ability to operate, support, expand, and develop our internet operations, website, mobile applications and software, and other related operational systems. Although we believe that our omnichannel participation is a distinct advantage for us due to synergies and the potential for new customers, supporting product offerings through these channels can create issues that have the potential to adversely affect our results of operations. For example, if our e-commerce platform successfully grows, it may do so in part by attracting existing guests, rather than new guests, who choose to purchase products from us online or through our mobile applications rather than from our physical stores, thereby reducing the financial performance of our stores. In addition, offering different products through each channel could cause conflicts and cause some of our current or potential internet or mobile customers to consider competing distributors of beauty products. Offering products through our internet channel or through our mobile applications could also cause some of our current or potential vendors to consider competing internet or mobile offerings of their products either on their own or through competing distributors. Additionally, omnichannel retailing is rapidly evolving, and we must keep pace with changing guest expectations and new developments by our competitors. As we continue to grow our e-commerce platform, the impact of attracting existing rather than new guests, conflicts between product offerings online or through our mobile applications and through our stores, and opening up our channels to increased competition from pure-play e-commerce companies could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows. In addition, if we are unable to make, improve, or develop relevant guest-facing technology in a timely manner, our ability to compete and our results of operations could be adversely affected.

Increased costs or interruption in our third-party vendors’ overseas sourcing operations could disrupt production, shipment, or receipt of some of our merchandise, which could result in lost sales and could increase our costs.

We directly source the majority of our Ulta Beauty branded product components and gifts with purchase and other promotional products through third-party vendors using foreign factories. In addition, many of our vendors use overseas sourcing to varying degrees to manufacture some or all of their products. Any event causing a sudden disruption of manufacturing or imports from such foreign countries, including the imposition of additional import restrictions, geo-political events, unanticipated political changes, increased customs duties, and legal or economic restrictions on overseas suppliers’ ability to produce and deliver products, could result in substantial disruptions in our supply chain (including inventory availability) and materially harm our operations. We have no long-term supply contracts with respect to such foreign-sourced items, many of which are subject to existing or potential duties, tariffs, or quotas that may limit the quantity of certain types of goods that may be imported into the United States from such countries. Our business is also subject to a variety of other risks generally associated with sourcing goods from abroad, such as political instability, disruption of imports by labor disputes, and local business practices. Our sourcing operations may also be hurt by health concerns regarding infectious diseases in countries in which our merchandise is produced (such as COVID-19), adverse weather conditions or natural disasters that may occur overseas, or acts of war or terrorism in the United States or worldwide, to the extent these acts affect the production, shipment, or receipt of merchandise. Our future operations and performance will be subject to these factors, and these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows or may require us to modify our current business practices and incur increased costs.

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Diversion of exclusive salon products, or a decision by manufacturers of exclusive salon products to utilize other distribution channels, could negatively impact our revenue from the sale of such products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

The retail products that we sell in our salons are meant to be sold exclusively by professional salons and authorized professional retail outlets. However, incidents of product diversion occur, which involve the selling of salon exclusive haircare products to unauthorized channels such as drug stores, grocery stores, or mass merchandisers. Diversion could result in adverse publicity that harms the commercial prospects of our products (if diverted products are old, tainted, or damaged), as well as lower product revenues should consumers choose to purchase diverted product from these channels rather than purchasing from one of our salons. Additionally, the various product manufacturers could, in the future, decide to utilize other distribution channels for such products, therefore widening the availability of these products in other retail channels, which could negatively impact the revenue we earn from the sale of such products.

The capacity of our distribution and order fulfillment infrastructure and the performance of our distribution centers and fast fulfillment centers may not be adequate to support our expected future growth plans, which could prevent the successful implementation of these plans or cause us to incur excess costs to expand this infrastructure, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

We currently operate four distribution centers, which house the distribution operations for Ulta Beauty retail stores together with the order fulfillment operations of our e-commerce platform, and two fast fulfillment centers (e-commerce only). In 2014, we began a multi-year supply chain project, which focused on, among other things, adding capacity and system improvements to support expanded omnichannel capabilities. To support our expected future growth and to maintain the efficient operation of our business, it is likely additional distribution facilities will be added in the future. Our failure to effectively upgrade and expand our distribution capacity on a timely basis to keep pace with our anticipated growth in stores and the performance of our distribution centers could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

Our comparable sales and quarterly financial performance may fluctuate for a variety of reasons, which could result in a decline in the price of our common stock.

Our comparable sales and quarterly results of operations have fluctuated in the past, and we expect them to continue to fluctuate in the future. A variety of factors affect our comparable sales and quarterly financial performance, including:

general U.S. economic conditions and, in particular, the retail sales environment;
changes in our merchandising strategy or mix;
performance of our new and remodeled stores;
the effectiveness of our inventory management;
timing and concentration of new store openings, including additional human resource requirements and related pre-opening and other start-up costs;
cannibalization of existing store sales by new store openings;
timing and effectiveness of our marketing activities;
seasonal fluctuations due to weather conditions;
actions by our existing or new competitors; and
hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes, mudslides, other natural disasters, epidemics or pandemics, and geo-political events.

Accordingly, our results for any one fiscal quarter are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for any other quarter, and comparable sales for any particular future period may decrease. In that event, the price of our common stock may decline.

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We rely on our good relationships with brand partners to purchase prestige, mass, and salon beauty products on reasonable terms. If these relationships were to be impaired, or if certain brand partners were to change their distribution model, or are unable to supply sufficient merchandise to keep pace with our growth plans, we may not be able to obtain a sufficient selection or volume of merchandise on reasonable terms, and we may not be able to respond promptly to changing trends in beauty products, either of which could have a material adverse effect on our competitive position, business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

We have no long-term supply agreements with brand partners and, therefore, our success depends on maintaining good relationships with our brand partners. Our business depends to a significant extent on the willingness and ability of our brand partners to supply us with a sufficient selection and volume of products to stock our stores. Some of our prestige brand partners may not have the capacity to supply us with sufficient merchandise to keep pace with our growth plans. We also have strategic partnerships with certain core brands, which have allowed us to benefit from the growing popularity of such brands. Any of our other core brands could in the future decide to scale back or end its partnership with us and strengthen its relationship with our competitors, which could negatively impact the revenue we earn from the sale of such products. If we fail to maintain strong relationships with our existing brand partners, or if we fail to continue acquiring and strengthening relationships with additional brand partners of beauty products, our ability to obtain a sufficient amount and variety of merchandise on reasonable terms may be limited, which could have a negative impact on our competitive position.

During fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2020, merchandise supplied to Ulta Beauty by our top ten brand partners accounted for approximately 54% and 56% of our net sales, respectively. There continues to be vendor consolidation within the beauty products industry. The loss of or a reduction in the amount of merchandise made available to us by any one of these key vendors, or by any of our other brand partners, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

Use of social media may adversely impact our reputation.

There has been a substantial increase in the use of social media platforms, including blogs, social media websites, and other forms of internet-based and mobile communications, which allow individuals access to a broad audience of consumers and other interested persons. Negative commentary regarding us or the products we sell may be posted on social media platforms and similar devices at any time and may be adverse to our reputation or business. Customers value readily available information and often act on such information without further investigation and without regard to its accuracy or source. The harm may be immediate without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction.

We also use social media platforms as marketing tools. For example, we maintain Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest accounts. As laws and regulations rapidly evolve to govern the use of these platforms and devices, the failure by us, our employees, or third parties acting at our direction to abide by applicable laws and regulations in the use of these platforms and devices could adversely impact our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

If we fail to retain our existing senior management team or attract qualified new personnel at all levels, such failure could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

Our business requires disciplined execution at all levels of our organization. This execution requires an experienced and talented management team. If we were to lose the benefit of the experience, efforts, and abilities of key executive personnel, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows. Furthermore, our ability to manage our retail expansion will require us to continue to train, motivate, and manage our associates. We will need to attract, motivate, and retain additional qualified executive, managerial, and merchandising personnel and store and distribution center associates. Competition for this type of personnel is intense, especially in light of the labor pressures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and we may not be successful in attracting, assimilating, and retaining the personnel required to grow and operate our business profitably. In addition, fluctuations in the cost of labor, including as a result of inflationary pressures on wages, could negatively impact our profitability and cash flows.

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Our secured revolving credit facility contains certain restrictive covenants that could limit our operational flexibility, including our ability to open stores.

We have a $1.0 billion secured revolving credit facility with a term expiring in March 2025. Substantially all of our assets are pledged as collateral for outstanding borrowings under the agreement. Outstanding borrowings bear interest at either a base rate plus a margin of 0% to 0.125% or the London Interbank Offered Rate plus a margin of 1.125% to 1.25% and the unused line fee is 0.20% per annum. The credit facility agreement contains usual and customary restrictive covenants relating to our management and the operation of our business. These covenants, among other things, limit our ability to grant liens on our assets, incur additional indebtedness, pay cash dividends and redeem our stock, enter into transactions with affiliates, and merge or consolidate with another entity. These covenants could restrict our operational flexibility and any failure to comply with these covenants or our payment obligations would limit our ability to borrow under the credit facility and, in certain circumstances, may allow the lenders thereunder to require repayment.

Economic, Market and Other External Risks

The health of the economy may affect consumer purchases of discretionary items such as beauty products and salon services, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

Our results of operations may be materially affected by conditions in the capital markets and the economy generally. We appeal to a wide demographic consumer profile and offer an extensive selection of beauty products sold directly to retail consumers and premium salon services. Uncertainty in the economy could adversely impact consumer purchases of discretionary items across all of our product categories, including prestige beauty products and premium salon services. Factors that could affect consumers’ willingness to make such discretionary purchases include: general business conditions, inflationary pressures, levels of employment, interest rates, tax rates, the availability of consumer credit, consumer confidence in future economic conditions, and risks related to epidemics or pandemics like COVID-19 and geo-political events. In the event of a prolonged period of inflation, a prolonged economic downturn or an acute recession, consumer spending habits could be adversely affected, and we could experience lower than expected net sales.

In addition, a general deterioration in economic conditions could adversely affect our commercial partners including our brand partners as well as the real estate developers and landlords who we rely on to construct and operate centers in which our stores are located. A bankruptcy or financial failure of a significant vendor or a number of significant real estate developers or shopping center landlords could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows. Additionally, volatility and disruption to the capital and credit markets may have a significant, adverse impact on global economic conditions, resulting in inflationary or recessionary pressures and declines in consumer confidence and economic growth, which, in turn, may lead to declines in consumer spending. Reduced consumer spending could cause changes in customer order patterns and changes in the level of merchandise purchased by our customers, and may signify a reset of consumer spending habits, all of which may adversely affect our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have, a negative impact on our business, financial condition, profitability, cash flows and supply chain, as well as consumer spending.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in federal, state, and local governments implementing numerous measures to try to contain the virus, such as travel restrictions, border closings, restrictions on public gatherings, quarantining of people who may have been exposed to the virus, shelter-in-place restrictions, and limitations or shutdowns of business operations. In response to government recommendations and for the health and safety of our associates (i.e., employees) and guests, on March 19, 2020 we temporarily closed all stores across the U.S. As a result of this decision, we experienced a significant reduction in customer traffic and demand which resulted in our sales and results of operations being negatively impacted in fiscal 2020. While we have reopened all stores and resumed most of our in-store services, the potential temporary reclosing of certain stores in the future is possible. COVID-19 could also negatively impact our future results of operations by weakening demand for our products and services and/or by disrupting our supply chain. The pandemic and its various impacts have also changed consumer behavior and consumption of beauty products due to the closures of offices, retail stores and other businesses and the significant decline in social gatherings.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had, and could continue to have, a negative impact on our business, financial condition, profitability, cash flows and supply chain, although the full extent is still uncertain. As the pandemic continues to evolve and new variants continue to emerge, the extent of the impact on our business, financial condition, profitability, cash flows and supply chain will depend on future developments, including, but not limited to, the potential temporary reclosing of certain of our stores, the potential temporary restrictions on certain of our stores operating hours and/or in store capacity, the duration of potential future quarantines, shelter-in-place and other travel restrictions within U.S. and other affected countries, the continued duration of the pandemic, government actions to contain the virus and/or treat its impact, the duration, timing and severity of the impact on consumer spending, and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume, all of which are still uncertain and cannot be predicted.

Epidemics, pandemics like COVID-19, natural disasters, or other catastrophes or crises that have and could continue to have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

Epidemics, pandemics, or other public health crises, natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, earthquakes, and mudslides, as well as acts of violence or terrorism, have resulted in the temporary closure of our stores and, in the future, could also result in physical damage to our properties, the temporary reclosing of our stores, the temporary closing of our distribution centers and fast fulfillment centers, the temporary lack of an adequate work force, the temporary or long-term disruption in the supply of products (or a substantial increase in the cost of those products) from domestic or foreign suppliers, the temporary disruption in the delivery of goods both to and from our distribution centers and fast fulfillment centers (or a substantial increase in the cost of those deliveries), the temporary reduction in the availability of products in our stores and/or the temporary reduction in visits to stores by customers. Accordingly, if one or more epidemics, pandemics, natural disasters, and/or acts of violence or terrorism were to occur (as it is with the continuing COVID-19 pandemic), it has and could continue to have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows or may require us to incur increased costs.

We may be unable to compete effectively in our highly competitive markets.

The markets for beauty products and salon services are highly competitive with few barriers to entry. We compete against a diverse group of retailers, both small and large, including regional and national department stores, specialty retailers, drug stores, mass merchandisers, high-end and discount salon chains, locally owned beauty retailers and salons, online capabilities of national retailers, pure-play e-commerce companies, catalog retailers, and direct response television, including television home shopping retailers and infomercials. We believe the principal bases upon which we compete are the breadth of merchandise, our value proposition, the quality of our guests’ shopping experience, and the convenience of our stores as one-stop destinations for beauty products and salon services. Many of our competitors are, and many of our potential competitors may be, larger and have greater financial, marketing, and other resources and therefore, may be able to adapt to changes in customer requirements more quickly, devote greater resources to the marketing and sale of their products, generate greater national brand recognition, or adopt more aggressive pricing policies than we can. As a result, we may lose market share, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

A reduction in traffic to, or the closing of, the other destination retailers in the shopping areas where our stores are located could significantly reduce our sales and leave us with excess inventory, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

As a result of our real estate strategy, most of our stores are located in off-mall shopping areas known as power centers. Power centers typically contain three to five big-box anchor stores along with a variety of smaller specialty tenants. As a consequence of most of our stores being located in such shopping areas, our sales are derived, in part, from the volume of traffic generated by the other destination retailers and the anchor stores in power centers where our stores are located. Customer traffic to these shopping areas may be adversely affected by the closing of such destination retailers or anchor stores, or by a reduction in traffic to such stores resulting from a regional or global economic downturn, an outbreak of flu or other viruses (such as COVID-19), a general downturn in the local area where our store is located, or a decline in the desirability of the shopping environment of a particular power center. Such a reduction in customer traffic would reduce our sales and leave us with excess inventory, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows. We may respond by increasing markdowns, initiating marketing

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promotions, or transferring product to other stores to reduce excess inventory, which would further decrease our gross profits and net income.

Increases in the demand for, or the price of, raw materials used to build and remodel our stores could hurt our profitability.

The raw materials used to build and remodel our stores are subject to availability constraints and price volatility caused by weather, supply conditions, government regulations, general economic conditions, inflationary pressures and other unpredictable factors. As a retailer engaged in an active building and remodeling program, we are particularly vulnerable to increases in construction and remodeling costs. As a result, increases in the demand for, or the price of, raw materials could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

Our stock repurchase programs could affect the price of our common stock and increase volatility and may be suspended or terminated at any time, which may result in a decrease in the trading price of our common stock.

We may have in place from time to time, a stock repurchase program. Any such stock repurchase program adopted will not obligate the Company to repurchase any dollar amount or number of shares of common stock and may be suspended or discontinued at any time, which could cause the market price of our common stock to decline. The timing and actual number of shares repurchased under any such stock repurchase program depends on a variety of factors including the timing of open trading windows, price, corporate and regulatory requirements, and other market conditions. We may affect repurchases under any stock repurchase program from time to time in the open market, in privately negotiated transactions or otherwise, including accelerated stock repurchase arrangements. Repurchases pursuant to any such stock repurchase program could affect our stock price and increase its volatility. The existence of a stock repurchase program could also cause our stock price to be higher than it would be in the absence of such a program and could potentially reduce the market liquidity for our stock. There can be no assurance that any stock repurchases will enhance stockholder value because the market price of our common stock may decline below the levels at which we repurchased shares of common stock. Although our stock repurchase program is intended to enhance stockholder value, short-term stock price fluctuations could reduce the program’s effectiveness.

Climate change might adversely impact our business operations and/or our supply chain.

Scientific consensus shows that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have caused and will in the future cause changes in weather patterns around the globe. Climatologists predict these changes will result in the increased frequency of extreme weather events and natural disasters which could disrupt our business operations or those of our suppliers. These weather events could also lead to an increased rate of temporary store closures and reduced customer traffic at our stores. In addition, concern about climate change and greenhouse gases may result in new or additional legal, legislative, and/or regulatory requirements to reduce or mitigate the effects of climate change on the environment. Any such new requirements could increase our operating costs for things like energy or packaging, as well as our product supply chain and distribution costs.

There is also increased focus, including by investors, guests, and other stakeholders, on climate change and other environmental, social, governance (ESG) and sustainability matters, including single use plastic, energy, waste and worker safety.

Concern about climate change might cause consumer preferences to change, including moving away from products or ingredients considered to have high climate change impact and towards products that are more sustainably made, and we expect to incur additional costs in connection with our ESG and sustainability initiatives.

Our reputation could be damaged if we do not (or are perceived not to) act responsibly with respect to these matters and, taken together, these matters could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, profitability and cash flows, as well as our ability to meet the needs of our customers.

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Information Security, Cybersecurity, Data Privacy, Regulatory and Legal Risks

Cybersecurity or information security breaches and other disruptions could compromise our information, result in the unauthorized disclosure of confidential guest, employee, Company and/or business partners’ information, damage our reputation, and expose us to liability, which could negatively impact our business.

In the ordinary course of our business, we collect, process, and store sensitive and confidential data, including our proprietary business information and that of our guests, suppliers and business partners, and personally identifiable information of our guests and employees, in our data centers and on our networks. The secure processing, maintenance, and transmission of this information is critical to our operations. We rely on commercially available systems, software, tools, and monitoring to provide security for processing, transmission, and storage of confidential information. Despite the security measures we have in place and continual vigilance in regard to the protection of sensitive information, our systems and those of our third-party service providers may be vulnerable to security breaches, denial-of-service attacks , break-ins, phishing attacks, social engineering, acts of vandalism, computer viruses, misplaced or lost data, human errors, or other similar events. Furthermore, we allow certain of our employees to work remotely, as certain of our third-party service providers also allow, and this remote working environment may increase cybersecurity related risks. Any such breach could compromise our networks and the information stored there could be accessed, publicly disclosed, lost, or stolen. Any such access, disclosure, or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, disrupt our operations, damage our reputation, and cause a loss of confidence in our business, products, and services, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

We are subject to risks relating to our information technology systems, and any failure to adequately protect our critical information technology systems, successfully upgrade our information technology systems or any material disruption of our information systems could negatively impact financial results and materially adversely affect our business operations, particularly during the holiday season.

We are dependent on a variety of information systems, including management, supply chain and financial information, and various other processes and transactions, to effectively manage our business. We also plan to expand and upgrade our information systems (including replacing our enterprise resource planning platform through Project SOAR) to support historical and expected future growth. The failure of these projects, the failure of our information systems to perform as designed or breaches of security could have an adverse effect on our business and results of our operations. Any material disruption of our systems could disrupt our ability to track, record, and analyze the merchandise that we sell and could cause delays or cancellation of customer orders or impede the manufacture or shipment of products, the processing of transactions, our ability to receive and process e-commerce orders, and/or the reporting of financial results.

Our e-commerce operations are increasingly important to our business. The Ulta.com website and our mobile applications serve as an effective extension of Ulta Beauty’s marketing and prospecting strategies by exposing potential new customers to the Ulta Beauty brand, product offerings, and enhanced content. As the importance of our website, mobile applications, and e-commerce operations to our business continues to grow, we are increasingly vulnerable to downtime and other technical failures. Our failure to successfully respond to these risks could reduce e-commerce sales and damage our brand’s reputation.

Failure to maintain satisfactory compliance with applicable privacy and data protection laws and regulations may subject us to negative financial consequences, including civil or criminal penalties, and harm our brand and reputation.

Complex local, state and national laws and regulations apply to the collection, use, retention, protection, disclosure, transfer and other processing of personal data. These privacy and data protection laws and regulations are quickly evolving, with new or modified laws and regulations proposed and implemented frequently (such as those enacted by California and certain other states) and existing laws and regulations subject to new or different interpretations and enforcement. Complying with these laws and regulations may cause us to incur substantial costs, require changes to our business practices and limit our ability to obtain data used to provide a differentiated guest experience. In addition, our failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations or other obligations to which we may be subject relating to

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personal data, or to protect personal data from unauthorized access, use or other processing, could result in enforcement actions and regulatory investigations against us, claims for damages by guests and other affected individuals, fines and/or damage to our brand and reputation, any of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

Litigation and other legal or regulatory proceedings or claims and the outcome of such litigation, proceedings or claims, including possible fines and penalties, could have a material adverse effect on our business and any loss contingency accruals may not be adequate to cover actual losses.

From time to time, we are subject to litigation, including potential class action and single-plaintiff litigation and other legal or regulatory proceedings or claims in the ordinary course of our business operations regarding, but not limited to, employment matters, consumer claims, security of consumer and employee personal information, contractual relations with suppliers, marketing and infringement of trademarks, and other intellectual property rights. Litigation to defend ourselves against claims by third parties, or to enforce any rights that we may have against third parties, may be necessary, which could absorb significant management time, result in substantial costs and diversion of our resources, causing a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows. We establish accruals for potential liability arising from litigation and other legal or regulatory proceedings or claims when potential liability is probable and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated based on currently available information. We may still incur legal costs for a matter even if we have not accrued a liability. In addition, actual losses may be higher than the amount accrued for a certain matter, or in the aggregate. Any resolution of litigation or other legal or regulatory proceedings or claims could materially adversely impact our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

Specifically, our technologies, promotional products purchased from third-party vendors, and/or Ulta Beauty branded products, or potential products in development may infringe rights under patents, patent applications, trademark, copyright, or other intellectual property rights of third parties in the United States and abroad. These third parties could bring claims against us that would cause us to incur substantial expenses and, if successful, could cause us to pay substantial damages. Further, if a third party were to bring an intellectual property infringement suit against us, we could be forced to stop or delay development, manufacturing, or sales of the product that is the subject of the suit.

As a result of intellectual property infringement claims, or to avoid potential claims, we may choose to seek, or be required to seek, a license from the third party and would most likely be required to pay license fees or royalties or both. These licenses may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all. Ultimately, we could be prevented from commercializing a product or be forced to cease some aspect of our business operations if, as a result of actual or threatened intellectual property infringement claims, we are unable to enter into licenses on acceptable terms. Even if we were able to obtain a license, the rights may be non-exclusive, which would give our competitors access to the same intellectual property. The inability to enter into licenses could harm our business significantly.

If our manufacturers are unable to produce products manufactured uniquely for Ulta Beauty, including Ulta Beauty branded products and gifts with purchase and other promotional products, consistent with applicable regulatory requirements, we could suffer lost sales and be required to take costly corrective action, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

We do not own or operate any manufacturing facilities and therefore depend upon independent third-party vendors for the manufacture of all products manufactured uniquely for Ulta Beauty, including the Ulta Beauty Collection and Ulta Beauty branded gifts with purchase and other promotional products. Our third-party manufacturers of Ulta Beauty products may not maintain adequate controls with respect to product specifications, content, labeling and/or quality and may not continue to produce products that are consistent with applicable regulatory requirements. If we or our third-party manufacturers fail to comply with applicable regulatory requirements, we could be required to take costly corrective action. In addition, sanctions under various laws may include seizure of products, injunctions against future shipment of products, restitution and disgorgement of profits, operating restrictions, and criminal prosecution. The FDA does not have a pre-market approval system for cosmetics, and we believe we are permitted to market our cosmetics and have them manufactured without submitting safety or efficacy data to the FDA. However, cosmetic products may become subject to more extensive regulation in the future. These events could interrupt the marketing and sale of our Ulta Beauty products, severely damage our brand reputation and image in the marketplace, increase the cost of our products, cause us

22

to fail to meet customer expectations, or cause us to be unable to deliver merchandise in sufficient quantities or of sufficient quality to our stores, any of which could result in lost sales, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

We, as well as our vendors, are subject to laws and regulations that could require us to modify our current business practices and incur increased costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

In our U.S. markets, numerous laws and regulations at the federal, state, and local levels can affect our business. Legal requirements are frequently changed and subject to interpretation, and we are unable to predict the ultimate cost of compliance with these requirements or their effect on our operations. If we fail to comply with any present or future laws or regulations, we could be subject to future liabilities, a prohibition on the operation of our stores, or a prohibition on the sale of our Ulta Beauty branded products. In particular, failure to adequately comply with the following legal requirements could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

Our large workforce makes us vulnerable to changes in labor and employment laws. In addition, changes in federal and state minimum wage laws and other laws relating to employee benefits could cause us to incur additional wage and benefits costs, which could hurt our profitability and affect our growth strategy.
Our salon operations are subject to state board regulations and state licensing requirements for our stylists and our salon procedures. Failure to maintain compliance with these regulatory and licensing requirements could jeopardize the viability of our salons.
We operate stores in California, which has enacted legislation commonly referred to as “Proposition 65” requiring that “clear and reasonable” warnings be given to consumers who are exposed to chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. Although we have sought to comply with Proposition 65 requirements, there can be no assurance that we will not be adversely affected by litigation relating to Proposition 65.
Future changes in healthcare reform legislation could significantly impact our business.

The formulation, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, distribution, sale, and storage of our vendors’ products and our Ulta Beauty branded products are also subject to extensive regulation by various federal agencies, including FDA, FTC, CPSC, and various state and local agencies, such as State AGs and District Attorneys. If we, our vendors, or the manufacturers of our Ulta Beauty branded products fail to comply with those regulations, we could become subject to significant penalties, claims, or product recalls, which could harm our results of operations, our reputation and/or our ability to conduct our business.

Additionally, the adoption of new regulations or changes in the interpretations of existing regulations may result in significant compliance costs or discontinuation of product sales and may impair the marketability of our vendors’ products or our Ulta Beauty branded products, resulting in significant loss of net sales. Our failure to comply with federal, state, or local requirements when we advertise our products (including prices) or services, or engage in other promotional activities, in digital (including social media), television, or print may result in enforcement actions and imposition of penalties or otherwise harm the distribution and sale of our products.

Our associates or others may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including noncompliance with our policies and procedures.

We are exposed to the risk of misconduct or other improper activities by our associates and third parties such as independent contractors or agents. Misconduct by associates, independent contractors, or agents could include inadvertent or intentional failures to comply with our policies and procedures, the laws and regulations to which we are subject, and/or ethical, social, product, labor, and environmental standards. Our current and former associates or independent contractors may also become subject to allegations of sexual harassment, racial and gender discrimination, or other similar misconduct, which, regardless or the ultimate outcome, may result in adverse publicity that could significantly harm our brand, reputation, and operations. Associate misconduct could also involve improper use of information obtained in the course of the associate’s prior or current employment, which could result in legal or regulatory action and harm to our reputation.

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If we are unable to protect our intellectual property rights, our brand and reputation could be harmed, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

We regard our trademarks, trade dress, copyrights, trade secrets, know-how, and similar intellectual property as critical to our success. Our principal intellectual property rights include registered and common law trademarks on “The Possibilities are Beautiful.®,” “Ulta Beauty,” “Ulta,” and other marks incorporating our name and “All Things Beauty. All in One Place®,” “21 Days of Beauty®,” and “Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty®,” copyrights in our website and mobile applications content, rights to our domain name www.ulta.com, and trade secrets and know-how with respect to our Ulta Beauty branded product formulations, product sourcing, sales and marketing and other aspects of our business, and our digital innovations such as try-on applications and artificial intelligence. As such, we rely on trademark and copyright law, trade secret protection, and confidentiality agreements with certain of our employees, consultants, suppliers, and others to protect our proprietary rights. If we are unable to protect or preserve the value of our trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, or other proprietary rights for any reason (including any cybersecurity incident that results in the unauthorized use of our intellectual property rights), or if other parties infringe on our intellectual property rights, our brand and reputation could be impaired and we could lose customers, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

In addition, we license certain of our trademarks to some of our business partners. While we enter into comprehensive agreements with our business partners covering, among other things, use of our brand name, the value of our brand and our reputation could be impaired to the extent that our business partners do not operate their businesses, including their stores or websites, in a manner consistent with our requirements regarding our brand identities and customer experience standards. Failure to protect the value of our brands, or any other harmful acts or omissions by a business partner, could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, cash flows and reputation.

Our Ulta Beauty branded products and salon services may cause unexpected and undesirable side effects that could result in their discontinuance or expose us to lawsuits, either of which could result in unexpected costs and damage to our reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

Unexpected and undesirable side effects caused by our Ulta Beauty branded products for which we have not provided sufficient label warnings or salon services, which may have been performed negligently, could result in the discontinuance of sales of our products or of certain salon services or prevent us from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of the affected products and services. Such side effects could also expose us to product liability or negligence lawsuits. Any claims brought against us may exceed our existing or future insurance policy coverage or limits. Any judgment against us that is in excess of our policy limits would have to be paid from our cash reserves, which would reduce our capital resources. These events could cause negative publicity regarding our Company, brand, or products, which could in turn harm our reputation and net sales, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, profitability, and cash flows.

Anti-takeover provisions in our organizational documents and Delaware law may discourage or prevent a change in control, even if a sale of the Company would be beneficial to our stockholders, which could cause our stock price to decline and prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management.

Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws contain provisions that may delay or prevent a change in control, discourage bids at a premium over the market price of our common stock, and harm the market price of our common stock and diminish the voting and other rights of the holders of our common stock. These provisions include:

dividing our Board of Directors into three classes serving staggered three-year terms;
authorizing our Board of Directors to issue preferred stock and additional shares of our common stock without stockholder approval;
prohibiting stockholder actions by written consent;
prohibiting our stockholders from calling a special meeting of stockholders;
prohibiting our stockholders from making certain changes to our certificate of incorporation or bylaws except with a two-thirds majority stockholder approval; and

24

requiring advance notice for raising business matters or nominating directors at stockholders’ meetings.

We are also subject to provisions of Delaware law that, in general, prohibit any business combination with a beneficial owner of 15% or more of our common stock for three years after the stockholder becomes a 15% stockholder, subject to specified exceptions. Together, these provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and of Delaware law could make the removal of management more difficult and may discourage transactions that otherwise could involve payment of a premium over prevailing market prices for our common stock.

Item 1B.   Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

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Item 2.   Properties

All of our retail stores, distribution centers, fast fulfillment centers, and corporate offices are leased or subleased.

Retail stores

Our retail stores are predominantly located in convenient, high-traffic locations such as power centers. Our typical store is approximately 10,000 square feet, including approximately 950 square feet dedicated to our full-service salon. Most of our retail store leases provide for a fixed minimum annual rent and generally have a 10-year initial term with options for two or three extension periods of five years each, exercisable at our option. As of January 29, 2022, we operated 1,308 retail stores across 50 states, as shown in the table below:

Number of

Number of

Location

    

stores

    

Location

    

stores

Alabama

24

Montana

6

Alaska

3

Nebraska

5

Arizona

30

Nevada

15

Arkansas

11

New Hampshire

8

California

163

New Jersey

43

Colorado

26

New Mexico

7

Connecticut

18

New York

52

Delaware

3

North Carolina

40

Florida

90

North Dakota

3

Georgia

42

Ohio

45

Hawaii

4

Oklahoma

21

Idaho

9

Oregon

16

Illinois

55

Pennsylvania

45

Indiana

24

Rhode Island

3

Iowa

11

South Carolina

22

Kansas

13

South Dakota

3

Kentucky

15

Tennessee

28

Louisiana

18

Texas

119

Maine

3

Utah

14

Maryland

27

Vermont

1

Massachusetts

23

Virginia

30

Michigan

49

Washington

36

Minnesota

19

West Virginia

7

Mississippi

11

Wisconsin

20

Missouri

25

Wyoming

3

Total

1,308

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Distribution centers and fast fulfillment centers

Our standard distribution center and fast fulfillment center lease provides for a fixed minimum annual rent and generally has a 10 or 15-year initial term with three or four renewal options with terms of five years each. The general location, approximate size, and lease expiration date for each distribution center (DC) and fast fulfillment center (FFC) at January 29, 2022, are set forth below:

Approximate

Lease Expiration

Location

    

Type

    

Square Feet

    

Date

Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

DC

503,605

June 30, 2027

Dallas, Texas

DC

671,000

July 31, 2026

Fresno, California

DC

671,000

July 31, 2028

Greenwood, Indiana

DC

671,000

July 31, 2025

Jacksonville, Florida

FFC

203,463

September 30, 2029

Romeoville, Illinois

FFC

291,000

May 31, 2023

Corporate office

Our principal executive office is in Bolingbrook, Illinois. The corporate office is approximately 341,000 square feet with lease terms expiring in 2028. Additionally, we have a satellite corporate office in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago office is approximately 23,000 square feet with lease expiration in 2026.

Item 3.   Legal Proceedings

See Note 9 to our consolidated financial statements, “Commitments and contingencies - General litigation,” for information on legal proceedings.

Item 4.   Mine Safety Disclosures

None.

Item 4A.  Executive Officers

The names of our executive officers, their ages and their positions, as of March 1, 2022, are shown below:

Name

    

Age

    

Position

David C. Kimbell

55

Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors

Scott M. Settersten

61

Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary

Jodi J. Caro

56

General Counsel, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary

Jeffrey J. Childs

64

Chief Human Resources Officer

Kecia L. Steelman

51

Chief Operating Officer

There is no family relationship between any of the directors or executive officers and any other director or executive officer of Ulta Beauty.

David C. Kimbell. Mr. Kimbell was named Chief Executive Officer in June 2021 after having previously served as President since December 2019, Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer since March 2015 and Chief Marketing Officer since February 2014. Prior to joining Ulta Beauty, he served as Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President at U.S. Cellular, Chief Marketing Officer of Seventh Generation, Vice President of Marketing at PepsiCo, and held a number of brand management roles in the Beauty Division of The Procter and Gamble Company from 1995 to 2001. Mr. Kimbell currently serves on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago and Chicago Lights, and is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago.

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Scott M. Settersten. Mr. Settersten was named Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary in March 2013, after serving as Acting Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary since October 2012. Mr. Settersten oversees the company’s finance, accounting, tax, treasury, procurement, internal audit, loss prevention, investor relations, and real estate teams, including the optimization of the company’s store fleet. Previously, Mr. Settersten served as Vice President of Accounting since 2010, after joining Ulta Beauty in January 2005 as a Director of Financial Reporting. Prior to Ulta Beauty, Mr. Settersten spent 15 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as a certified public accountant serving in various senior manager roles in the assurance and risk management practices.

Jodi J. Caro. Ms. Caro was named General Counsel, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer in August 2015. She also serves as Corporate Secretary and Chief Privacy Officer. Ms. Caro oversees Ulta Beauty’s Legal, Risk & Governance Services team in delivering legal, governance, compliance, risk management and property management services, as well as leading all Environmental, Social, and Governance efforts. Prior to joining Ulta Beauty, she was Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Integrys Energy Group, in addition to holding the role of Integrys’ Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer. Prior to joining Integrys in 2008, Ms. Caro owned and operated her own law practice, which provided general counsel and corporate services to clients ranging from established multi-million-dollar companies to medium and small early-stage enterprises. Prior to opening her law practice in 2006, she was co-founder and General Counsel of Looking Glass Networks, a privately held, facilities-based telecommunications company, and served as an in-house attorney with MCI/WORLDCOM. Ms. Caro is also Vice-Chair of the Retail Litigation Center and serves on the Chicago-Kent College of Law Board of Advisors as well as the board of directors for Communities in Schools of Chicago.

Jeffrey J. Childs. Mr. Childs was named Chief Human Resource Officer in October 2013. Prior to joining Ulta Beauty, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer at U.S. Cellular after joining as Senior Vice President of Human Resources in 2004. From 2001 to 2004, he was President and Owner of Childs Consulting Services. Previously, he served from 1979 to 2001 in a variety of human resources, marketing, sales and operations roles at AT&T, including Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Services. Mr. Childs is an active member of the Chicago community, serving on the board of directors of Skills for Chicagoland’s Future.

Kecia Steelman. Ms. Steelman was named Chief Operating Officer in June 2021. Ms. Steelman oversees store and services operations, supply chain, Ulta Beauty at Target and enterprise-wide optimization efforts. Previously, Ms. Steelman served as Chief Store Operations Officer since September 2015 and as Senior Vice President, Store Operations since July 2014. Prior to joining Ulta Beauty, Ms. Steelman was Group Vice President at Family Dollar Stores from 2011 to 2014, after joining the company in 2009 as Vice President, Store Development and Store Operations. From 2005 to 2009, Ms. Steelman was Vice President, General Manager of Expo Design Center, Home Depot Design Center, and YardBIRDs and Director of New Store Innovations at the Home Depot Corporation. Ms. Steelman began her career at Target Corporation and served in a variety of retail operations and merchandising roles with increasing responsibility from 1993 to 2005. Ms. Steelman currently serves on the board of directors for Metropolitan Family Services and the Adler Planetarium, and is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago.

Part II

Item 5.   Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market information

Our common stock has traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “ULTA” since October 25, 2007.

Holders of the registrant’s common stock

The last reported sale price of our common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on March 21, 2022 was $385.67 per share. As of March 21, 2022, we had 31 holders of record of our common stock. Because many shares of

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common stock are held by brokers and other institutions on behalf of stockholders, we are unable to estimate the total number of stockholders represented by these record holders.

Purchases of equity securities by the issuer and affiliated purchasers

The following table sets forth repurchases of our common stock during the fourth quarter of 2021:

Period

    

Total number
of shares
purchased (1)

    

Average
price paid
per share

    

Total number
of shares
purchased as
part of publicly
announced
plans or
programs (2)

    

Approximate
dollar value of
shares that may yet
be purchased
under plans or programs
(in thousands) (2)

October 31, 2021 to November 27, 2021

55,189

$

393.85

54,962

$

738,135

November 28, 2021 to December 25, 2021

1,864,426

395.89

1,864,426

25

December 26, 2021 to January 29, 2022

195

397.10

25

13 weeks ended January 29, 2022

1,919,810

395.83

1,919,388

25

(1) There were 1,919,388 shares repurchased as part of our publicly announced share repurchase program during the 13 weeks ended January 29, 2022 and there were 422 shares transferred from employees in satisfaction of minimum statutory tax withholding obligations upon the vesting of restricted stock during the period.
(2) On March 12, 2020, we announced our 2020 share repurchase program pursuant to which the Company may repurchase up to $1.6 billion of the Company’s common stock. As of January 29, 2022, the amount remaining available under the $1.6 billion 2020 share repurchase program was nominal. On March 7, 2022, the Board of Directors authorized the 2022 share repurchase program. For additional information on the 2022 share repurchase program see Note 19 to our consolidated financial statements, “Subsequent event.”

Recent sales of unregistered securities

None.

Securities authorized for issuance under equity compensation plans

The following table provides information about Ulta Beauty common stock that may be issued under our equity compensation plans as of January 29, 2022:

Number of securities

Number of securities

remaining available

to be issued upon

Weighted-average

for future issuance

exercise of outstanding

exercise price of

under equity

options, warrants

outstanding options,

compensation

Plan category

   

and rights (2)

   

warrants and rights (3)

   

plans (4)

Equity compensation plans approved by security holders (1)

 

773,608

$

232.85

 

2,576,598

(1) Includes options issued and available for exercise and shares available for issuance in connection with past awards under the Amended and Restated 2011 Incentive Award Plan and predecessor equity incentive plans. We currently grant awards only under the Amended and Restated 2011 Incentive Award Plan.
(2) Includes 498,156 shares issuable pursuant to the exercise of outstanding stock options, 221,292 shares issuable pursuant to restricted stock units, and 54,160 shares issuable pursuant to performance-based units.

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(3) Calculation of weighted-average exercise price of outstanding awards includes stock options but does not include shares of restricted stock units or performance-based units that convert to shares of common stock for no consideration.
(4) Represents shares that are available for issuance pursuant to the Amended and Restated 2011 Incentive Award Plan. The shares available under the plan are reduced by 1.0 for each stock option awarded and by 1.5 for each restricted stock unit and performance-based unit awarded.

Stock performance graph

The following performance graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.

Set forth below is a graph comparing the cumulative total stockholder return on Ulta Beauty’s common stock with the S&P 500 and the S&P 500 Retailing (Industry Group, SP500-2550) for the period covering January 28, 2017 through the end of Ulta Beauty’s fiscal year ended January 29, 2022. The graph assumes an investment of $100 made at the closing of trading on January 28, 2017 in (i) Ulta Beauty’s common stock, (ii) the stocks comprising the S&P 500 and (iii) the stocks comprising the S&P 500 Retailing (Industry Group, SP500-2550). All values assume reinvestment of the full amount of all dividends, if any, into additional shares of the same class of equity securities at the frequency with which dividends are paid on such securities during the applicable time period.

Chart, line chart  Description automatically generated

Fiscal year ended

January 28,

February 3,

February 2,

February 1,

January 30,

January 29,

Company / Index

    

2017

    

2018

    

2019

    

2020

    

2021

    

2022

Ulta Beauty

$

100.00

    

$

81.57

    

$

107.21

    

$

98.40

    

$

102.75

    

$

131.79

S&P 500

100.00

123.91

118.66

141.54

162.99

194.48

S&P 500 Retailing

100.00

143.84

154.70

180.19

253.16

266.50

Item 6.   [Reserved]

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Item 7.   Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Overview

We were founded in 1990 as a beauty retailer at a time when prestige, mass, and salon products were sold through distinct channels – department stores for prestige products; drug stores and mass merchandisers for mass products; and salons and authorized retail outlets for professional hair care products. We developed a unique specialty retail concept that offers a broad range of brands and price points, select beauty services, and a convenient and welcoming shopping environment. We define our target consumer as a beauty enthusiast, a consumer who is passionate about the beauty category, uses beauty for self-expression, experimentation and self-investment, and has high expectations for the shopping experience. We estimate that female beauty enthusiasts represent approximately 60% of shoppers and 75% of spend in the U.S. beauty category. We believe our strategy provides us with the competitive advantages that have contributed to our financial performance.

Today, we are the largest beauty retailer in the United States and the premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skin care products, hair care products, and salon services. Key aspects of our business include: a differentiated assortment of more than 25,000 beauty products across a variety of categories and price points as well as a variety of beauty services, including salon services, in more than 1,300 stores predominantly located in convenient, high-traffic locations; engaging digital experiences delivered through our website, ulta.com, and our mobile applications; our best-in-class loyalty program that enables members to earn points for every dollar spent on products and beauty services and provides us with deep, proprietary customer insights; and our ability to cultivate human connection with warm and welcoming guest experiences across all of our channels.

The continued growth of our business and any future increases in net sales, net income, and cash flows is dependent on our ability to execute our strategic priorities: 1) drive breakthrough and disruptive growth through an expanded definition of All Things Beauty, 2) evolve the omnichannel experience through connected physical and digital ecosystems, All In Your World, 3) expand and deepen our presence across the beauty journey, solidifying Ulta Beauty at the Heart of the Beauty Community, 4) drive operational excellence and optimization, 5) protect and cultivate our world-class culture and talent, and 6) expand our environmental and social impact. We believe that the attractive and growing U.S. beauty products and salon services industry, the expanding definition of beauty and role that omnichannel capabilities play in consumers’ lives, coupled with Ulta Beauty’s competitive strengths, position us to capture additional market share in the industry.

Comparable sales is a key metric that is monitored closely within the retail industry. Our comparable sales have fluctuated in the past, and we expect them to continue to fluctuate in the future. A variety of factors affect our comparable sales, including general U.S. economic conditions, changes in merchandise strategy or mix, and timing and effectiveness of our marketing activities, among others.

Over the long term, our growth strategy is to increase total net sales through growing our comparable sales, expanding omnichannel capabilities, and opening new stores. Long-term operating profit is expected to increase as a result of our efforts to optimize our real estate portfolio, expand merchandise margin and leverage our fixed store costs with comparable sales increases and operating efficiencies, partially offset by incremental investments in people, systems, and supply chain required to support a 1,500 to 1,700 store chain in the U.S. with successful e-commerce and competitive omnichannel capabilities.

Current Trends

Impact of COVID-19

As previously discussed, our results of operations for fiscal 2020 were significantly impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. During fiscal 2021, we continued to closely monitor the impact of COVID-19 on all facets of our

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business. As we navigated the impact of the pandemic, we proactively took steps to optimize our cost structure, while also investing in new capabilities to support future growth.

During fiscal 2021, we experienced an increase in sales driven primarily by the favorable impact from stronger consumer confidence, government stimulus payments, and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. While operations during fiscal 2021 did not appear to be as negatively impacted, the continuing COVID-19 pandemic could have additional negative impacts in the future. The extent of the impact of the pandemic on our business and financial results will depend on future developments, including, but not limited to, the potential temporary reclosing of certain stores, the potential temporary restrictions on certain store operating hours and/or in-store capacity, the duration of potential future quarantines, shelter-in-place and other travel restrictions within the U.S. and other affected countries, supply chain disruptions, increased freight costs and higher wholesale costs, the continued duration of the pandemic and any variants of the virus, the duration, timing and severity of the impact on consumer spending, the timing and effectiveness of vaccine distribution, vaccination rates, and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume.

Industry trends

Our research indicates that Ulta Beauty has captured meaningful market share across all categories over the last several years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and its various impacts have changed consumer behavior and consumption of beauty products due to the closures of offices, retail stores and other businesses and the significant decline in travel, entertainment and social gatherings. The overall beauty market declined in 2020 but stabilized in 2021, as consumers began to recover from the impacts of COVID-19. We remain confident that our differentiated and diverse business model, our commitment to strategic investments, and our highly engaged associates will continue to drive market share gains over the long term.

Impact of inflation and changing prices

Although we do not believe that inflation has had a material impact on our financial position or results of operations to date, a high rate of inflation in the future may have an adverse effect on our ability to maintain current levels of gross margin and selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of net sales if the selling prices of our products do not increase with these increased costs. In addition, inflation could materially increase the interest rates on any future debt.

Basis of presentation

The Company has one reportable segment, which includes retail stores, salon services, and e-commerce.

We recognize merchandise revenue at the point of sale in our retail stores. E-commerce sales are recognized upon shipment or guest pickup of the merchandise based on meeting the transfer of control criteria. Retail store and e-commerce sales are recorded net of estimated returns. Shipping and handling are treated as costs to fulfill the contract and not a separate performance obligation. Accordingly, we recognize revenue for our single performance obligation related to online sales at the time control of the merchandise passes to the customer, which is at the time of shipment or guest pickup. We provide refunds for merchandise returns within 60 days from the original purchase date. State sales taxes are presented on a net basis as we consider our self a pass-through conduit for collecting and remitting state sales tax. Salon service revenue is recognized at the time the service is provided to the guest. Gift card sales revenue is deferred until the guest redeems the gift card. Company coupons and other incentives are recorded as a reduction of net sales. Other revenue sources include the private label and co-branded credit card programs and royalties derived from the partnership with Target, as well as deferred revenue related to the loyalty program and gift card breakage.

Comparable sales reflect sales for stores beginning on the first day of the 14th month of operation. Therefore, a store is included in our comparable store base on the first day of the period after one year of operations plus the initial one-month grand opening period. Non-comparable store sales include sales from new stores that have not yet completed their 13th month of operation and stores that were closed for part or all of the period in either year. Remodeled stores are included in comparable sales unless the store was closed for a portion of the current or prior period. Comparable sales

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include retail sales and salon services (including stores temporarily closed due to COVID-19), and e-commerce. There may be variations in the way in which some of our competitors and other retailers calculate comparable or same store sales.

Measuring comparable sales allows us to evaluate the performance of our store base as well as several other aspects of our overall strategy. Several factors could positively or negatively impact our comparable sales results:

the general national, regional, and local economic conditions and corresponding impact on customer spending levels;
the introduction of new products or brands;
the location of new stores in existing store markets;
competition;
our ability to respond on a timely basis to changes in consumer preferences;
the effectiveness of our various merchandising and marketing activities; and
the number of new stores opened and the impact on the average age of all of our comparable stores.

Cost of sales includes:

the cost of merchandise sold, including substantially all vendor allowances, which are treated as a reduction of merchandise costs;
distribution costs including labor and related benefits, freight, rent, depreciation and amortization, real estate taxes, utilities, and insurance;
shipping and handling costs;
retail stores occupancy costs including rent, depreciation and amortization, real estate taxes, utilities, repairs and maintenance, insurance, and licenses;
salon services payroll and benefits; and
shrink and inventory valuation reserves.

Our cost of sales may be negatively impacted as we open new stores. Changes in our merchandise or channel mix may also have an impact on cost of sales. This presentation of items included in cost of sales may not be comparable to the way in which our competitors or other retailers compute their cost of sales.

Selling, general and administrative expenses include:

payroll, bonus, and benefit costs for retail store and corporate employees;
advertising and marketing costs;
occupancy costs related to our corporate office facilities;
stock-based compensation expense;
depreciation and amortization for all assets, except those related to our retail stores and distribution operations, which are included in cost of sales; and
legal, finance, information systems, and other corporate overhead costs.

This presentation of items in selling, general and administrative expenses may not be comparable to the way in which our competitors or other retailers compute their selling, general and administrative expenses.

Impairment, restructuring and other costs include long-lived asset impairment charges, restructuring costs associated with store closings, costs associated with the suspension of our Canadian expansion, and employee related severance costs. 

Pre-opening expenses include non-capital expenditures during the period prior to store opening for new, remodeled, and relocated stores including rent during the construction period for new and relocated stores, store set-up labor, management and employee training, and grand opening advertising.

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Interest expense, net includes both interest expense and income. Interest expense includes interest costs and facility fees associated with our credit facility, which is structured as an asset-based lending instrument. Our credit facility interest is based on a variable interest rate structure which can result in increased cost in periods of rising interest rates. Interest income represents interest from cash equivalents and short-term investments with maturities of twelve months or less from the date of purchase.

Income tax expense reflects the federal statutory tax rate and the weighted average state statutory tax rate for the states in which we operate stores.

Results of operations

Our fiscal years are the 52- or 53-week periods ending on the Saturday closest to January 31. The Company’s fiscal years ended January 29, 2022 (fiscal 2021), January 30, 2021 (fiscal 2020), and February 1, 2020 (fiscal 2019) were all 52-week years.

As of January 29, 2022, we operated 1,308 stores across 50 states. The following tables present the components of our consolidated results of operations for the periods indicated:

Fiscal year ended

January 29,

January 30,

February 1,

(Dollars in thousands)

2022

    

2021

    

2020

Net sales

$

8,630,889

$

6,151,953

$

7,398,068

Cost of sales

5,262,335

4,202,794

4,717,004

Gross profit

3,368,554

1,949,159

2,681,064

Selling, general and administrative expenses

2,061,545

1,583,017

1,760,716

Impairment, restructuring and other costs

114,322

Pre-opening expenses

9,517

15,000

19,254

Operating income

1,297,492

236,820

901,094

Interest expense (income), net

1,663

5,735

(5,056)

Income before income taxes

1,295,829

231,085

906,150

Income tax expense

309,992

55,250

200,205

Net income

$

985,837

$

175,835

$

705,945

Other operating data:

Number of stores end of year

1,308

1,264

1254

Comparable sales

37.9%

(17.9)%

5.0%

Fiscal year ended

January 29,

January 30,

February 1,

(Percentage of net sales)

2022

    

2021

    

2020

Net sales

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Cost of sales

61.0%

68.3%

63.8%

Gross profit

39.0%

31.7%

36.2%

Selling, general and administrative expenses

23.9%

25.7%

23.8%

Impairment, restructuring and other costs

0.0%

1.9%

0.0%

Pre-opening expenses

0.1%

0.2%

0.3%

Operating income

15.0%

3.9%

12.1%

Interest expense (income), net

0.0%

0.1%

(0.1)%

Income before income taxes

15.0%

3.8%

12.2%

Income tax expense

3.6%

0.9%

2.7%

Net income

11.4%

2.9%

9.5%

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Fiscal year 2021 versus fiscal year 2020

Net sales

Net sales increased $2.5 billion, or 40.3%, to $8.6 billion in fiscal 2021 compared to $6.2 billion in fiscal 2020. The net sales increase was primarily due to the favorable impact from stronger consumer confidence, government stimulus payments, and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, and an increase of $15.1 million in other revenue. The total comparable sales increase of 37.9% in fiscal 2021, compared to a decrease of 17.9% in fiscal 2020, was driven by a 30.0% increase in transactions and a 6.0% increase in average ticket.

Gross profit

Gross profit increased $1.4 billion, or 72.8%, to $3.4 billion in fiscal 2021, compared to $1.9 billion in fiscal 2020. Gross profit as a percentage of net sales increased 730 basis points to 39.0% in fiscal 2021 compared to 31.7% in fiscal 2020. The increase in gross profit margin was primarily due to:

300 basis points leverage of fixed costs attributed to the impact of higher sales;
190 basis points of improvements in merchandise margins driven by lower promotional activity and cost optimization efforts;
140 basis points of leverage due to favorable channel mix shifts; and
100 basis points of leverage in salon expenses attributed to the impact of higher sales.

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses increased $0.5 billion, or 30.2%, to $2.1 billion in fiscal 2021 compared to $1.6 billion in fiscal 2020. As a percentage of net sales, SG&A expenses decreased 180 basis points to 23.9% in fiscal 2021 compared to 25.7% in fiscal 2020. The leverage in SG&A expenses was primarily due to:

180 basis points of leverage of corporate overhead due to higher sales;
90 basis points of leverage of store payroll and benefits due to higher sales; and
50 basis points of leverage of store expenses due to higher sales; partially offset by
80 basis points of deleverage due to less employee retention credits received under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act); and
60 basis points of deleverage due to higher incentive compensation.

Impairment, restructuring and other costs

There were no impairment, restructuring and other costs recognized in fiscal 2021 compared to $114.3 million for fiscal 2020, which consisted of $41.9 million due to the impairment of tangible long-lived assets and operating lease assets associated with certain retail stores, $29.1 million related to the suspension of the planned expansion to Canada, $27.5 million related to the permanent closure of 19 stores, and $15.8 million of severance charges.

Pre-opening expenses

Pre-opening expenses decreased $5.5 million, or 36.6%, to $9.5 million in fiscal 2021 compared to $15.0 million in fiscal 2020 due to current year real estate activity and stores expected to open in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

Interest expense, net

Interest expense, net was $1.7 million in fiscal 2021 compared to $5.7 million of interest expense, net in fiscal 2020. Interest expense represents interest on borrowings and fees related to the credit facility. Interest income results from short-term investments. We did not have any outstanding borrowings on our credit facility as of January 29, 2022 and January 30, 2021.

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Income tax expense

Income tax expense of $310.0 million in fiscal 2021 represents an effective tax rate of 23.9%, compared to fiscal 2020 income tax expense of $55.3 million and an effective tax rate of 23.9%. The higher income tax expense is primarily due to higher operating income compared to fiscal 2020.

Net income

Net income increased $810.0 million to $985.8 million in fiscal 2021 compared to $175.8 million in fiscal 2020. The increase in net income was primarily due to a $1.4 billion increase in gross profit and a $114.3 million decrease in impairment, restructuring and other costs, partially offset by a $0.5 billion increase in SG&A expenses and $254.7 million increase in income taxes.

Fiscal year 2020 versus fiscal year 2019

Net sales

Net sales decreased $1.2 billion, or 16.8%, to $6.2 billion in fiscal 2020 compared to $7.4 billion in fiscal 2019. The net sales decrease was driven by the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the temporary closing of our brick-and-mortar retail stores, social distancing and quarantines, reduction of operating hours, and limitations on in-store capacity, and a decrease of $6.6 million in other revenue. Total comparable sales in fiscal 2020 decreased 17.9% compared to an increase of 5.0% in fiscal 2019. During fiscal 2020, transactions declined 24.5% and average ticket increased 8.8%.

Gross profit

Gross profit decreased $0.7 billion, or 27.3%, to $1.9 billion in fiscal 2020, compared to $2.7 billion in fiscal 2019. Gross profit as a percentage of net sales decreased 450 basis points to 31.7% in fiscal 2020 compared to 36.2% in fiscal 2019. The decrease in gross profit margin was primarily due to:

220 basis points of deleverage due to channel mix shifts;
220 basis points deleverage of fixed costs and 90 basis points of deleverage in salon services, both attributed to the impact of lower sales; partially offset by
80 basis points of leverage driven by lower promotional activity and cost optimization efforts.

Selling, general and administrative expenses

SG&A expenses decreased $0.2 billion, or 10.1%, to $1.6 billion in fiscal 2020 compared to $1.8 billion in fiscal 2019. As a percentage of net sales, SG&A expenses increased 190 basis points to 25.7% in fiscal 2020 compared to 23.8% in fiscal 2019. The deleverage in SG&A expenses was primarily due to:

170 basis points of deleverage primarily due to higher corporate overhead;
80 basis points of deleverage of store payroll and benefits and variable store expenses due to the impact of lower sales and personal protective equipment and COVID-related expenses; and
30 basis points of deleverage of marketing expenses attributed to the impact of lower sales volume; partially offset by
90 basis points of leverage related to the employee retention credits made available under the CARES Act.

Impairment, restructuring and other costs

Impairment, restructuring and other costs were $114.3 million for fiscal 2020, which consisted of $41.9 million due to the impairment of tangible long-lived assets and operating lease assets associated with certain retail stores, $29.1 million related to the suspension of the planned expansion to Canada, $27.5 million related to the permanent closure of 19 stores,

36

and $15.8 million of severance charges. All restructuring expenses were recognized in fiscal 2020. There was no impairment, restructuring and other costs in fiscal 2019.

Pre-opening expenses

Pre-opening expenses decreased $4.3 million, or 22.1%, to $15.0 million in fiscal 2020 compared to $19.3 million in fiscal 2019 due to current year real estate activity and stores expected to open in the first quarter of fiscal 2021. During fiscal 2020, we opened 30 new stores and relocated five stores. During fiscal 2019, we opened 86 new stores, remodeled 12 stores, and relocated eight stores.

Interest expense (income), net

Interest expense, net was $5.7 million in fiscal 2020 compared to $5.1 million of interest income, net in fiscal 2019. Interest expense represents interest on borrowings and fees related to the credit facility. Interest income results from short-term investments. We did not have any outstanding borrowings on our credit facility as of January 30, 2021 and February 1, 2020.

Income tax expense

Income tax expense of $55.3 million in fiscal 2020 represents an effective tax rate of 23.9%, compared to fiscal 2019 income tax expense of $200.2 million and an effective tax rate of 22.1%. The higher effective tax rate is primarily due to less investment tax credits received and tax expense from the income tax accounting for stock-based compensation compared to a benefit in fiscal 2019.

Net income

Net income decreased $530.1 million, or 75.1%, to $175.8 million in fiscal 2020 compared to $705.9 million in fiscal 2019. The decrease in net income was primarily due to a $731.9 million decrease in gross profit and a $114.3 million increase in impairment, restructuring and other costs, partially offset by a $177.6 million decrease in SG&A expenses and $145.0 million decrease in income taxes.

Liquidity and capital resources

Our primary sources of liquidity are cash and cash equivalents, cash flows from operations, and borrowings under our credit facility. The most significant components of our working capital are merchandise inventories and cash and cash equivalents reduced by accounts payable, accrued expenses and deferred revenue.

Our primary cash needs are for rent, capital expenditures for new, remodeled, and relocated stores, increased merchandise inventories related to store expansion and new brand additions, supply chain improvements, share repurchases, and continued improvement in our information technology systems.

Our most significant ongoing short-term cash requirements relate primarily to funding operations (including expenditures for lease expenses, inventory, labor, distribution, advertising and marketing, and tax liabilities) as well as periodic spend for capital expenditures, investments, and share repurchases. Our working capital needs are greatest from August through November as a result of inventory build-up during this period for the holiday season.

Long-term cash requirements primarily relate to funding lease expenses and other purchase commitments.

We generally fund short-term and long-term cash requirements with cash from operating activities. We believe our primary sources of liquidity will satisfy our cash requirements over both the short-term (the next twelve months) and long-term.

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The following table summarizes contractual cash requirements as of January 29, 2022:

Less Than

1 to 3

3 to 5

More than 5

(In thousands)

    

Total

    

1 Year

    

Years

    

Years

    

Years

Operating lease obligations (1)

$

2,130,097

$

332,651

$

681,117

$

554,022

$

562,307

Purchase obligations

51,056

33,615

15,485

1,956

Total (2)

$

2,181,153

$

366,266

$

696,602

$

555,978

$

562,307

(1) These amounts are for our undiscounted lease obligations recorded in our consolidated balance sheets as operating lease liabilities. Also included are legally binding minimum lease payments for leases signed but not yet commenced of $73.6 million, which are excluded from operating lease liabilities shown on our consolidated balance sheets.
(2) The unrecognized tax benefit of $3.4 million as of January 29, 2022 is excluded due to uncertainty regarding the realization and timing of the related future cash flows, if any.

Purchase obligations reflect legally binding agreements entered into by the Company to purchase goods or services. The amount of purchase obligations relates to commitments for products and services and other goods and service contracts entered into as of January 29, 2022. Excluded from purchase obligations are normal purchases and contracts entered into in the ordinary course of business.

Cash flows

We believe our ability to generate substantial cash from operating activities and readily secure financing at competitive rates are key strengths that give us significant flexibility to meet our short and long-term financial commitments. The following table presents a summary of our cash flows during the last three years:

Fiscal year ended

January 29,

January 30,

February 1,

(In thousands)

    

2022

    

2021

    

2020

Net cash provided by operating activities

$

1,059,265

$

810,355

$

1,101,293

Net cash used in investing activities

(176,484)

(48,751)

(471,480)

Net cash used in financing activities

(1,497,216)

(107,934)

(646,739)

Operating activities

Operating activities consist of net income adjusted for certain non-cash items, including depreciation and amortization, non-cash lease expense, long-lived asset impairment charges, deferred income taxes, stock-based compensation expense, realized gains or losses on disposal of property and equipment, and the effect of working capital changes.

The increase in net cash provided by operating activities in fiscal 2021 is mainly due to the increase in net income and deferred revenue, partially offset by higher merchandise inventories, higher cash outflow from higher income taxes, and lower long-lived asset impairment charges compared to fiscal 2020.

The increase in net income was primarily due to an increase in gross profit resulting from higher sales and a decrease in impairment, restructuring and other costs, partially offset by an increase in SG&A expenses and income taxes.

Merchandise inventories, net were $1.5 billion at January 29, 2022, compared to $1.2 billion at January 30, 2021, representing an increase of $331.0 million or 28.3%. The increase in total inventory was primarily driven by the addition of 44 net new stores opened since January 30, 2021, inventory to support new brand launches, and the acceleration of inventory receipts to support expected demand and mitigate anticipated global supply chain disruptions.

The decrease in net cash provided by operating activities in fiscal 2020 relative to fiscal 2019 was primarily due to the decrease in net income, merchandise inventories, and the timing of accounts payable due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Investing activities

We have historically used cash primarily for new, remodeled, relocated, and refreshed stores, supply chain investments, short-term investments, and investments in information technology systems.

The increase in net cash used in investing activities in fiscal 2021 relative to fiscal 2020 was primarily due to less proceeds of short-term investments and more capital expenditures compared to fiscal 2020.

The decrease in net cash used in investing activities in fiscal 2020 relative to fiscal 2019 was primarily due to less capital expenditures due to actions we took to preserve liquidity as we navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic and an increase in proceeds of short-term investments offset by less purchases of short-term investments.

Capital expenditures

The following table presents a summary of our store activities during the last three years:

    

Fiscal year ended

January 29,

   

January 30,

    

February 1,

2022

2021

2020

Stores opened

48

30

86

Stores remodeled

9

12

Stores relocated

7

5

8

Stores refreshed

240

During fiscal 2021, the average investment required to open a new Ulta Beauty store was approximately $1.4 million, which includes capital investment net of landlord contributions, pre-opening expenses, and initial inventory net of payables.

Capital expenditures during the last three years by major category are as follows:

Budget

Fiscal

Fiscal

Fiscal

Fiscal

(In millions)

   

2022

   

2021

   

2020

   

2019

New, Remodeled, and Relocated Stores

$

120

$

73

$

56

$

141

Merchandising and Refreshed Stores

30

16

14

29

Information Technology Systems

150

37

36

54

Supply Chain

70

23

13

17

Store Maintenance and Other

55

23

33

58

Total

$

425

$

172

$

152

$

299

Our future investments will depend primarily on the number of new, remodeled, and relocated stores, information technology systems investments, and supply chain investments that we undertake and the timing of these expenditures. Based on past performance and current expectations, we believe our sources of liquidity will be sufficient to fund future capital expenditures. We expect fiscal 2022 capital expenditures will be $425 million, and will be used to fund our new, remodeled, and relocated stores and strategic priorities, including investments in information technology systems and supply chain optimization.

Financing activities

Financing activities primarily include share repurchases, borrowing and repayment of our revolving credit facility, and capital stock transactions. Purchases of treasury shares represent the fair value of common shares repurchased from plan participants in connection with shares withheld to satisfy minimum statutory tax obligations upon the vesting of restricted stock.

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The increase in net cash used in financing activities in fiscal 2021 relative to fiscal 2020 was primarily due to an increase in share repurchases offset by an increase in stock option exercises, and no activity under our revolving credit facility during fiscal 2021.

The decrease in net cash used in financing activities in fiscal 2020 relative to fiscal 2019 was primarily due to borrowing and repayment under our revolving credit facility and the suspension of the share repurchase program in order to strengthen our liquidity and preserve cash while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

We had no borrowings outstanding under the credit facility at the end of fiscal 2021, 2020, and 2019. The zero outstanding borrowings position is due to a combination of factors including sales demand, overall performance of management initiatives including expense control, and inventory and other working capital reductions. We may require borrowings under the facility from time to time in future periods for unexpected business disruptions, to support our new store program, seasonal inventory needs, or share repurchases.

Share repurchase program

In March 2019, the Board of Directors authorized a share repurchase program (the 2019 Share Repurchase Program) pursuant to which the Company could repurchase up to $875.0 million of the Company’s common stock. The 2019 Share Repurchase Program authorization revoked the previously authorized but unused amount of $25.4 million from the earlier share repurchase program. The 2019 Share Repurchase Program did not have an expiration date but provided for suspension or discontinuation at any time.

In March 2020, the Board of Directors authorized a share repurchase program (the 2020 Share Repurchase Program) pursuant to which the Company could repurchase up to $1.6 billion of the Company’s common stock. The 2020 Share Repurchase Program authorization revoked the previously authorized but unused amount of $177.8 million from the 2019 Share Repurchase Program. The 2020 Share Repurchase Program did not have an expiration date but provided for suspension or discontinuation at any time.

A summary of common stock repurchase activity is presented in the following table:

Fiscal year ended

January 29,

January 30,

February 1,

(Dollars in millions)

    

2022

2021

2020

Shares repurchased

4,249,632

474,794

2,320,896

Total cost of shares repurchased

$

1,521.9

$

114.9

$

681.0

On March 7, 2022, the Board of Directors authorized a new share repurchase program (the 2022 Share Repurchase Program) pursuant to which the Company may repurchase up to $2.0 billion of the Company’s common stock. The 2022 Share Repurchase Program authorization revokes the previously authorized but unused amounts from the 2020 Share Repurchase Program. The 2022 Share Repurchase Program does not have an expiration date and may be suspended or discontinued at any time.

Credit facility

On March 11, 2020, we entered into Amendment No. 1 to the Second Amended and Restated Loan Agreement (as so amended, the Loan Agreement) with Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, as Administrative Agent, Collateral Agent and a Lender thereunder; Wells Fargo Bank, National Association and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners; JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as Syndication Agent and a Lender; PNC Bank, National Association, as Documentation Agent and a Lender; and the other lenders party thereto. The Loan Agreement matures on March 11, 2025, provides maximum revolving loans equal to the lesser of $1.0 billion or a percentage of eligible owned inventory and eligible owned receivables (which borrowing base may, at the election of the Company and satisfaction of certain conditions, include a percentage of qualified cash), contains a $50.0 million subfacility for letters of credit and allows the Company to increase the revolving facility by an additional $100.0 million, subject to the consent by each lender and other conditions. The Loan Agreement contains a requirement to maintain a fixed charge coverage ratio of not less than

40

1.0 to 1.0 during such periods when availability under the Loan Agreement falls below a specified threshold. Substantially all of the Company’s assets are pledged as collateral for outstanding borrowings under the Loan Agreement. Outstanding borrowings bear interest, at the Company’s election, at either a base rate plus a margin of 0% to 0.125% or the London Interbank Offered Rate plus a margin of 1.125% to 1.250%, with such margins based on the Company’s borrowing availability, and the unused line fee is 0.20% per annum.

As of January 29, 2022 and January 30, 2021, we had no borrowings outstanding under the credit facility and we were in compliance with all terms and covenants of the Loan Agreement.

Seasonality

Our business is subject to seasonal fluctuation. Significant portions of our net sales and profits are realized during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year due to the holiday selling season. To a lesser extent, our business is also affected by Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Any decrease in sales during these higher sales volume periods could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or operating results for the entire fiscal year. Our quarterly results of operations have varied in the past and are likely to do so again in the future. As such, we believe that period-to-period comparisons of our results of operations should not be relied upon as an indication of our future performance.

Critical accounting policies and estimates

Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations is based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. The preparation of these financial statements required the use of estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of our assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses. Management bases estimates on historical experience and other assumptions it believes to be reasonable under the circumstances and evaluates these estimates on an on-going basis. Actual results may differ from these estimates. A discussion of our more significant estimates follows. Management has discussed the development, selection, and disclosure of these estimates and assumptions with the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.

Inventory valuation

Merchandise inventories are carried at the lower of cost or market (net realizable value). Cost is determined using the moving average cost method and includes costs incurred to purchase and distribute goods as well as related vendor allowances including co-op advertising, markdowns, and volume discounts. We record valuation adjustments to our inventories if the cost of a specific product on hand exceeds the amount we expect to realize from the ultimate sale or disposal of the inventory. These estimates are based on management’s judgment regarding future demand, age of inventory, and analysis of historical experience. If actual demand or market conditions are different than those projected by management, future merchandise margin rates may be unfavorably or favorably affected by adjustments to these estimates.

Inventories are adjusted for the results of periodic physical inventory counts at each of our locations. We record a shrink reserve representing management’s estimate of inventory losses by location that have occurred since the date of the last physical count. This estimate is based on management’s analysis of historical results and operating trends.

We do not believe that there is a reasonable likelihood that there will be a material change in the future estimates or assumptions we use to calculate our inventory reserves. Adjustments to earnings resulting from revisions to management’s estimates of the inventory reserves have been insignificant during fiscal 2021, 2020, and 2019. An increase or decrease in the lower of cost or market (net realizable value) reserve of 10% would not have a material impact on our operating income for fiscal 2021. An increase or decrease in the shrink rate included in the shrink reserve calculation of 10% would not have a material impact on our operating income for fiscal 2021.

41

Vendor allowances

The majority of cash consideration received from a vendor is considered to be a reduction of the cost of the related products and is reflected in cost of sales in our consolidated statements of income as the related products are sold unless it is in exchange for an asset or service or a reimbursement of a specific, incremental, identifiable cost incurred by the Company in selling the vendors’ products. We estimate the amount recorded as a reduction of inventory at the end of each period based on a detailed analysis of inventory turns and management’s analysis of the facts and circumstances of the various contractual agreements with vendors. We record cash consideration expected to be received from vendors in receivables. We do not believe there is a reasonable likelihood there will be a material change in the future estimates or assumptions we use to calculate our reduction of inventory. An increase or decrease in inventory turns of five basis points would not have a material impact on our operating income for fiscal 2021.

Impairment of long-lived tangible assets

We review long-lived tangible assets whenever events or circumstances indicate these assets might not be recoverable. Assets are primarily reviewed at the store level, which is the lowest level for which cash flows can be identified. Significant estimates are used in determining future operating results of each store over its remaining lease term. An impairment loss would be recorded if the carrying amount of the long-lived asset exceeds its fair value. We do not believe that there is a reasonable likelihood that there will be a material change in the future estimates or assumptions we use to calculate our impairment charges. During fiscal 2020, we recognized $72.5 million of impairment of long-lived tangible and right-of-use assets which consisted of $41.9 million due to impairment analysis which indicated that the carrying values of certain long-lived assets exceeded their respective fair values, $19.6 million related to the suspension of the planned expansion to Canada, and $11.0 million related to the permanent closure of 19 stores. No significant impairment charges were recognized in fiscal 2021 or fiscal 2019.

Loyalty program

We maintain a customer loyalty program, Ultamate Rewards, which allows members to earn points based on purchases of merchandise or services. Points earned are valid for at least one year. The loyalty program represents a material right to the customer and points may be redeemed on future products and services. Revenue from the loyalty program is recognized when the members redeem points or points expire. We defer revenue related to points earned that have not yet been redeemed. The amount of deferred revenue includes estimates for the standalone selling price of points earned by members and the percentage of points expected to be redeemed. The expected redemption percentage is based on historical redemption patterns and considers current information or trends. The estimated redemption rate is evaluated each reporting period. We do not believe that there is a reasonable likelihood there will be a material change in the future estimates or assumptions used to calculate the estimated redemption rate.

Adjustments to earnings resulting from revisions to management’s estimates of the redemption rates have been insignificant during fiscal 2021, 2020, and 2019. An increase or decrease in the estimated redemption rate of 5% would not have a material impact on our operating income in fiscal 2021.

Income taxes

We are subject to income taxes in the United States. Judgment is required in determining our provision for income taxes and income tax assets and liabilities, including evaluating uncertainties in the application of accounting principles and complex tax laws.

We recognize deferred income taxes for the estimated future tax consequences attributable to temporary differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which temporary differences are anticipated to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred taxes of a change in income tax rates is recognized in the consolidated statements of income in the period of enactment. A valuation allowance is recorded to reduce the carrying amounts of deferred tax assets to the amount expected to be realized unless it is more-likely-than-not that such assets will be realized in full. The estimated tax benefit of an uncertain tax position is

42

recorded in our consolidated financial statements only after determining a more-likely-than-not probability that the uncertain tax position will withstand challenge, if any, from applicable taxing authorities.  

Judgment is required in assessing the future tax consequences of events that have been recognized on our consolidated financial statements or tax returns. Variations in the actual outcome of these future tax consequences could materially impact our consolidated financial statements.

Recently adopted accounting pronouncements

See Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements, “Summary of significant accounting policies – Recently adopted accounting pronouncements.”

Item 7A.   Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

Market risk represents the risk of loss that may impact our financial position due to adverse changes in financial market prices and rates. Our market risk exposure is primarily the result of fluctuations in interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates. We do not hold or issue financial instruments for trading purposes.

Interest rate risk

We are exposed to interest rate risks primarily through borrowings under our credit facility. Interest on our borrowings is based upon variable rates. We did not have any outstanding borrowings on our credit facility as of January 29, 2022, January 30, 2021 or February 1, 2020.

Item 8.   Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

See the index, consolidated financial statements, and notes to consolidated financial statements included under Item 15, “Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules.”

Item 9.   Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

None.

Item 9A.   Controls and Procedures

Evaluation of disclosure controls and procedures over financial reporting

We have established disclosure controls and procedures to ensure that material information relating to the Company is made known to the officers who certify our financial reports and to the members of our senior management and Board of Directors.

Based on management’s evaluation as of January 29, 2022, our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer have concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) are effective to ensure that the information required to be disclosed by us in our reports that we file or submit under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms, and that such information is accumulated and communicated to our management, including the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, as appropriate, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.

Management’s annual report on internal control over financial reporting

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting for the Company. Internal control over financial reporting is a process designed by, or under the supervision of, the principal executive officer and principal financial officer and effected by the Board of Directors, management, and other

43

personnel, to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of our financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with U.S generally accepted accounting principles.

Under the supervision and with the participation of our principal executive officer and our principal financial officer, management evaluated the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of January 29, 2022, based on the criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework) (the COSO). Based on this evaluation, our principal executive officer and principal financial officer concluded that our internal controls over financial reporting were effective as of January 29, 2022. Ernst & Young LLP, the independent registered public accounting firm that audited our financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, has audited the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of January 29, 2022 and has issued the attestation report included in Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Changes in internal control over financial reporting

There were no changes to our internal controls over financial reporting during the 13 weeks ended January 29, 2022 that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal controls over financial reporting.

Item 9B.   Other Information

None.

Item 9C. Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

Not applicable.

Part III

Item 10.   Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance

The information required by this item with respect to our executive officers is set forth in Part I, Item 4A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K under the caption “Executive Officers.” The additional information required by this item is included under the captions “Corporate Governance – Code of Business Conduct,” “Corporate Governance – Nomination Process – Qualifications,” “Corporate Governance – Proposal One – Election of Directors,” “Corporate Governance – Information About Our Director Nominees,” “Corporate Governance – Information About Our Directors Continuing in Office” and “Corporate Governance – Audit Committee” in our definitive Proxy Statement for our 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the Proxy Statement) and is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

We have a Code of Business Conduct that applies to all of our employees, including our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Controller, and other persons performing similar functions. We have posted a copy of our Code of Business Conduct under “Governance” in the Investor Relations section of our website located at http://ulta.com/investor, and such Code of Business Conduct is available in print, without charge, to any stockholder who requests it from our Corporate Secretary. We intend to satisfy the disclosure requirements under Item 5.05 of Form 8-K regarding amendments to, or waivers from, the Code of Business Conduct by posting such information under “Governance” in the Investor Relations section of our website located at http://ulta.com/investor. We are not including the information contained on our website as part of, or incorporating it by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Item 11.   Executive Compensation

The information required by this item is included under the captions “Compensation Discussion and Analysis,” “Corporate Governance – Compensation Committee,” “Corporate Governance – Report of the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors,” and “Corporate Governance – Non-Executive Director Compensation for Fiscal 2021” in the Proxy Statement and is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

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Item 12.   Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

The information required by this item with respect to security ownership of certain beneficial owners and management is included under the caption "Stock Ownership” in the Proxy Statement and is hereby incorporated by reference. The information required by this item with respect to compensation plans under which our equity securities are authorized for issuance as of January 29, 2022 is set forth in Item 5 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K under the caption “Securities authorized for issuance under equity compensation plans.”

Item 13.   Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

The information required by this item is included under the captions “Corporate Governance – Independence,” “Corporate Governance – Compensation Committee – Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation,” and “Certain Relationships and Transactions” in the Proxy Statement and is hereby incorporated by reference.

Item 14.   Principal Accountant Fees and Services

The information required by this item is included under the caption “Corporate Governance – Proposal Two – Ratification of Appointment of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm – Fees to Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm” in the Proxy Statement and is hereby incorporated by reference.

45

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

The Stockholders and the Board of Directors of Ulta Beauty, Inc.

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Ulta Beauty, Inc. (the Company) as of January 29, 2022, and January 30, 2021, the related consolidated statements of income, comprehensive income, stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 29, 2022, and the related notes and financial statement schedule listed in the Index at Item 15 (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company at January 29, 2022 and January 30, 2021, and the consolidated results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 29, 2022, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the Company's internal control over financial reporting as of January 29, 2022, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework) and our report dated March 25, 2022 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.

Basis for Opinion

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures include examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

47

Critical audit matter

The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of the critical audit matter does not alter in any way our opinion on the consolidated financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.

Loyalty Program

Description of the matter

The Company maintains a loyalty program, Ultamate Rewards, which offers members the ability to earn and redeem points on purchases of products and services. As described in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, revenue from the loyalty program is recognized when the members redeem points or points expire. The Company estimates the amount of revenue to defer using the standalone selling price of the points earned and the expected redemption percentage. The Company evaluates its estimated standalone selling price quarterly based on the value of products or services purchased using points. The expected redemption percentage is based on historical redemption patterns in conjunction with current information and trends.

Auditing the Company’s estimate of loyalty deferred revenue was complex as the calculation involved management’s assumptions, such as the standalone selling price and expected redemption rate, which drive the revenue deferral. In particular, the estimate is sensitive to these significant assumptions, which are affected by expectations about future customer behavior.

How we addressed the matter in our audit

We obtained an understanding, evaluated the design, and tested the operating effectiveness of the Company’s estimation process and controls supporting the measurement and recognition of the amount of loyalty revenue deferred. This included testing controls over management’s review of the assumptions and other inputs used in the estimation, the completeness and accuracy of issuance and redemption data used in the calculation and controls over the assignment of membership levels based on customer spending patterns.

Our audit procedures included, among others, evaluating the methodology used, analyzing the significant assumptions discussed above, and testing the accuracy and completeness of the underlying data used in management’s calculation. To test the standalone selling price per point, we validated that the price per point for each membership level was appropriate based on products or services purchased by loyalty members. To audit the redemption rate, we tested redemption activity and compared the results of that testing to the redemption rate used by management in its estimate. We also considered recent trends in redemption activity and the impact on the redemption rate. In addition, we performed sensitivity analyses of significant assumptions to evaluate the change in the deferral amounts.

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 1997.

Chicago, Illinois

March 25, 2022

48

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

The Stockholders’ and the Board of Directors Ulta Beauty, Inc.

Opinion on Internal Control over Financial Reporting

We have audited Ulta Beauty, Inc.’s internal control over financial reporting as of January 29, 2022, based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework) (the COSO criteria). In our opinion, Ulta Beauty, Inc. (the Company) maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of January 29, 2022, based on COSO criteria.

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the consolidated balance sheets of the Company as of January 29, 2022 and January 30, 2021, the related consolidated statements of income, comprehensive income, stockholders’ equity and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 29, 2022, and the related notes and financial statement schedule listed in the Index at Item 15 and our report dated March 25, 2022 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.

Basis for Opinion

The Company’s management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting included in the accompanying Management’s annual report on internal control over financial reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects.

Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Definition and Limitations of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

49

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP

Chicago, Illinois

March 25, 2022

50

Ulta Beauty, Inc.

Consolidated Balance Sheets

January 29,

January 30,

(In thousands, except per share data)

    

2022

    

2021

Assets

Current assets:

Cash and cash equivalents

$

431,560

$

1,046,051

Receivables, net

233,682

193,109

Merchandise inventories, net

1,499,218

1,168,215

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

110,814

107,402

Prepaid income taxes

5,909

Total current assets

2,281,183

2,514,777

Property and equipment, net

914,476

995,795

Operating lease assets

1,482,256

1,504,614

Goodwill

10,870

10,870

Other intangible assets, net

1,538

2,465

Deferred compensation plan assets

38,409

33,223

Other long-term assets

35,647

28,225

Total assets

$

4,764,379

$

5,089,969

Liabilities and stockholders’ equity

Current liabilities:

Accounts payable

$

552,730

$

477,052

Accrued liabilities

364,797

296,334

Deferred revenue

353,579

274,383

Current operating lease liabilities

274,118

253,415

Accrued income taxes

12,786

42,529

Total current liabilities

1,558,010

1,343,713

Non-current operating lease liabilities

1,572,638

1,643,386

Deferred income taxes

39,693

65,359

Other long-term liabilities

58,665

37,962

Total liabilities

3,229,006

3,090,420

Commitments and contingencies (Note 9)

Stockholders' equity:

Common stock, $0.01 par value, 400,000 shares authorized; 53,049 and 56,952 shares issued; 52,311 and 56,260 shares outstanding; at January 29, 2022 and January 30, 2021, respectively

530

569

Treasury stock-common, at cost

(53,478)

(37,801)

Additional paid-in capital

934,945

847,303

Retained earnings

653,376

1,189,422

Accumulated other comprehensive income

56

Total stockholders’ equity

1,535,373

1,999,549

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

$

4,764,379

$

5,089,969

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

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Ulta Beauty, Inc.

Consolidated Statements of Income

Fiscal year ended

January 29,

January 30,

February 1,

(In thousands, except per share data)

    

2022

    

2021

    

2020

Net sales

$

8,630,889

    

$

6,151,953

    

$

7,398,068

Cost of sales

5,262,335

4,202,794

4,717,004

Gross profit

3,368,554

1,949,159

2,681,064

Selling, general and administrative expenses

2,061,545

1,583,017

1,760,716

Impairment, restructuring and other costs

114,322

Pre-opening expenses

9,517

15,000

19,254

Operating income

1,297,492

236,820

901,094

Interest expense (income), net

1,663

5,735

(5,056)

Income before income taxes

1,295,829

231,085

906,150