Chicago Tribune

Target and Macy's give beauty departments makeovers to compete with Ulta and Sephora

Blame the selfie, if you will, but there's plenty of cash at stake in the battle for the dollars consumers spend on their faces.

In recent years, it's a battle specialty beauty retailers seem to be winning. Bolingbrook, Ill.-based Ulta Beauty cracked the Fortune 500 earlier this week and continues to open roughly 100 new stores each year, while French chain Sephora continues to win market share, according to parent company Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy.

Department stores and mass merchants are pushing back with changes that will leave them looking a little more like their specialty rivals, including hiring more beauty-focused employees, shaking up their selection of brands, and encouraging shoppers to experiment with new looks using real products or virtual try-on technology.

Giselle Jaramillo, 28, of Chicago, said she prefers Ulta

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