When it comes to the adult version of kids in a candy store, do you get your fix from the beauty juggernauts of Ulta or Sephora? And when it comes down to making the choice between these two powerhouses, which one do you typically choose? According to NPD research, 29 percent of 25 to 34 year olds go for Ulta, while 30 percent shop at Sephora. It's a close call. Sephora has always been known for its prestigious, upscale approach to beauty. But is the well-rounded Ulta giving Sephora a run for its money?
With 331 stores, Ulta is lauded for its one-stop shopping and easy-to-get-to locations, which are often found in strip malls. Many shoppers prefer the convenience of being able to buy both lower- and higher-end items, along with the accessibility of an in-store salon. While Ulta has had a discount vibe in the past, stores have become more polished over the past few years. On the flip side, if it's a hot item, Sephora almost always has it first. With 230 stores nationwide (along with 140 retail areas in JC Penney), the beauty giant is pretty much the originator of the concept of bringing together prestige brands under the same roof. Which experience do you prefer?