You may have heard the news... the iconic cosmetics line is coming to 100 Ulta stores by June.
This comes as quite a shock to me. It actually makes me weirdly uncomfortable, like... what is happening in my makeup world?? MAC was once a prestige brand catering mostly to professional makeup artists, but this move makes it seem as though the company is seeking desperate measures to stay relevant amongst the myriad of new makeup brands coming to the market. While it's true that MAC has lost some of its luster in the eyes of professionals (some say the quality has gone down), it's still a "go-to" brand for consumers, mostly because of the name. I personally think it's a bit overhyped. I don't have much MAC in my kit - not because it's not good, but because there are other brands out there that offer just as good - if not better - products, often times for more affordable prices. I keep mainly professional brands stocked in my kit that the every day consumer has never been exposed to. I can't tell you how many times I've had a bridesmaid ask what brand ("brand," as in one - lol!) I keep in my kit, and when I rattle off names like Graftobian, Face Atelier, RCMA... they stop me and say, "Oh, I really think MAC is the best. Do you have any MAC?" Often times I find that MAC is the one name even casual makeup wearers recognize, so it may seem like this Holy Grail brand of makeup. But MAC is not the be-all end-all. I do enjoy the Pro Longwear Concealer and the gel eyeliner in Black Track, and of course the iconic lipsticks. But honestly, MAC comes out with so many new limited edition collections that I have stopped paying attention. There's a new one every time I turn my head! Many of the collections seem very gimmicky to me, like they were made just for quick sells without putting in actual effort.
Maybe MAC sales are down in recent years so they're trying out new strategies. Estee Lauder, the parent company, wrote in the 2016 fiscal review: "Operating income was impacted by a decline in retail traffic in the United States related primarily to mid-tier department stores that primarily affected Estée Lauder and Clinique, as well as certain M. A. C freestanding stores." MAC knows that partnering with ULTA will bring in new customers who have never shopped at MAC before. I've heard people who work at ULTA say they get customers asking for MAC all the time anyway since that's the one brand they know. If you're a makeup newbie, chances are you haven't heard of Becca, Too Faced, or maybe even Urban Decay... but you probably have heard of MAC. So when you step into ULTA and feel overwhelmed, now you'll be able to head straight for a familiar brand name.
Here in Clarksville, our only option to purchase is to go online or drive all the way to Nashville for a lipstick... No thanks. So in that sense, I am excited that (hopefully) Clarksville will be getting access to MAC - if it comes to this town. I might actually be more inclined to add some more concealers to my kit if it will be easily accessible and simple to restock.
I do find it odd that MAC chose ULTA over Sephora, but I think that's because ULTA has brick-and-mortar stores with way more square footage. You can typically find a Sephora (and MAC) in malls, where there is limited space, but you'll usually find an ULTA standing on its own. It has the space to handle another huge brand.
Obviously, from a business standpoint, it's a good move for MAC. It will bring in a lot of extra revenue from new consumers. As a professional makeup artist though... well, I'm sad that the main goal seems to be to push a new mediocre collection down the throat of the consumer, while catering less to the professionals who helped build the brand to what it is today.
Will you be purchasing more from MAC now that it will be more accessible?