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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Mar. 14, 201906:22 PM EST

Ulta Beauty confirms Jacksonville e-commerce fulfillment center

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Company CEO says the facility will open in 2020.

Ulta Beauty Inc. confirmed Thursday that it will open a fulfillment center in Jacksonville in 2020.

Mary Dillon, CEO of the Bolingbrook, Illinois-based beauty products retailer, announced the center – its second fast fulfillment center to serve its e-commerce business – during its conference call Thursday afternoon with analysts and investors to discuss Ulta Beauty’s fourth-quarter and annual financial results.

A second fast fulfillment center “is in the works and expected to open in the summer of 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida,” she said.

The first will open in a remodeled Ulta distribution center in Romeoville, Illinois, she announced.

Fast fulfillment centers serve only e-commerce orders. Dillon said the facilities will be able to fill up to 30,000 orders per day during peak times, "increasing our network capacity and progressing toward our goal of two-day e-commerce shipping by 2021." 

Ulta previously said it would open its first fast fulfillment center in the Southeast but said Thursday that distinction goes to the Illinois location.

In a November presentation to analysts, Ulta said its goal is two-day e-commerce shipping by 2021.

Dillon did not say how large or where the Jacksonville center will open. The November presentation said the centers will be 175,000 to 200,000 square feet.

Several Jacksonville buildings fit that profile, including one in Park 295 Industrial Park in Northwest Jacksonville at Interstate 295 and Duval Road.

A marketing flyer for that project shows the first 552,634-square-foot building under construction has leased 203,463 square feet to an unidentified tenant. Property representative Ladson Montgomery with Newmark Phoenix Realty Group has declined comment.

Ulta’s fulfillment center fits the description of an economic development project, called Project Flamingo, that City Council approved Jan. 8 for a city grant of $1.425 million.

Flamingo intends to invest $37.5 million to lease and equip 200,000 square feet of space in Northwest Jacksonville and to hire 30 full-time employees to distribute private-label skin and hair care products.

Construction would start by year-end and the jobs would be hired no later than year-end 2021. The company could hire 400 seasonal workers.

As of Feb. 9, Ulta Beauty operated 1,174 retail stores across the country and it also distributes products through its website.

It distributes and sells cosmetics, fragrances, skin care products and hair care products, and it offers in-store salon services.

On Thursday, it announced sales for the 2018 fiscal year that ended Feb. 2 rose 14.1 percent to $6.7 billion. Net income increased 18.6 percent to $658.6 million.

Dillon told analysts that “there’s no way, shape or form that the importance of e-commerce” will diminish. It will only grow, she said.

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