Do You Prefer Shopping for Beauty at Department Stores or at Sephora, Ulta, and BlueMercury?

Do You Prefer Shopping for Beauty at Department Stores or at Sephora, Ulta, and BlueMercury?
(Getty) A model backstage at an ULTA beauty event at fall 2012 NY Fashion Week.

Where do you prefer to buy beauty products—at department stores, drugstores, or specialty stores like Ulta, Sephora, and BlueMercury?

According to a story in today's WWD, specialty chain stores like Sephora and Ulta are embarking on rapid (and vast) expansion plans—designed to unseat department stores as the primary purveyors of luxury beauty brands in this country.

"The rise of Gen-Y is pushing some of this development," industry analyst Neely Tamminga told the paper. "This customer is far more educated on the need for preventative skin care and they are seeking innovation. They are also channel agnostic. They just want the best curated collection in beauty: enter Ulta, Sephora, and dot-com."

To meet demand, Ulta says it's planning on opening 1,200 more stores (!) and BlueMercury wants to reach 300 brick-and-mortar locations. And, if you've been to a JCPenney lately, you'll have noticed that Sephora is increasing its presence in JCP stores around the country (fun fact: did you know that one out of every two Americans shops at JCPenney?).

What about you? Do you prefer to shop for beauty products and cosmetics at drugstores, department stores, or specialty stores? There are pros and cons to each I guess—tell us what you think!
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