Josie Maran, the beauty brand perhaps known for its model founder and hero ingredient argan oil, expanded to a new retailer for the first time in 10 years.
On Dec. 27, the brand debuted in 641 Ulta Beauty stores and online through Ulta’s Conscious Beauty program, which aims to elevate brands focused on sustainability and clean beauty, among other pillars. Josie Maran currently also retails through QVC, which accounts for 60% of sales; Sephora, which accounts for another 30% of sales; and its own e-commerce, which contributes the remaining 10%, according to Josie Maran, founder and CEO of her eponymous brand. Josie Maran, the brand, earned approximately $150 million in sales in both 2019 and 2020.
“We are in 100 million households through QVC, and Sephora is amazing, but I want more,” said Maran. “I want to build the community. Ulta is growing faster than every other beauty brick-and-mortar, and they touch a whole other kind of clientele.”
Jullie Myung, Josie Maran director of marketing, added that the brand has seen a growing number of Gen Zers following it on social media, and that Ulta will help in reaching them. Maran said the brand expects to earn a total of $6 million to $12 million at Ulta in its first year. She added there might be more opportunities for store expansions in the third quarter of 2021.
Josie Maran’s expansion occurs during an annual reset and onboarding of new brands across the beauty retail landscape. Notable players have also opened themselves up to more distribution during a tough sales climate. In Oct. 2020, 24-year-old Pacifica expanded outside the U.S. to Canada, while Kendo-owned KVD Vegan Beauty expanded outside of Sephora (and into Ulta) the first time in its 13-year history. The KVD expansion also speaks to long-term Sephora brands adding Ulta to their dockets, including Belif in Jan. 2020, and Korres and Briogeo in Dec. 2020.
Beginning Jan. 4, the Josie Maran brand started announcing its Ulta partnership via social media. It currently maintains a network of 500 paid and unpaid influencers. For the Ulta launch, in particular, it’s working with paid influencers including Nicolette Mason (@nicolettemason, 197,000 Instagram followers), Alexus Crown (@alexuscrown, 93,500 Instagram followers) and Alexa Johnson (@glowopedia, 86,000 followers).
“We see influencers as partners that help us get the word out and be advocates for a brand,” said Myung. “It’s less about launching a product [and wanting to] talk about a certain thing, and then giving influencers a sales quota. [It’s more] about how they can add their perspective to the storytelling.”
Outside of the Ulta expansion, Josie Maran has been busy updating different sectors of the business. In 2019 Josie Maran partnered with recycling company TerraCycle, and in 2020, the brand transitioned its entire line to 100% recycled packaging materials and began using 100% renewable energy. In 2022, Josie Maran will undergo a significant rebrand, which will include new packaging designs and an emphasis on sustainability. It will be its first rebrand in its 14-year history.