We’re a Consolidator for Ulta and Sephora. Here’s What That Means.
Capacity is a consolidator for Ulta and Sephora, two of the biggest beauty retailers in the world. In logistics parlance, a consolidator is a third party logistics company (3PL) that ships multiple brands to a single retailer. Instead of your brand shipping one purchase order to the retailer, a consolidator aggregates multiple brands into one full container load, a much more cost effective way to transport goods.
Working with a 3PL that is a consolidator is win-win for brands and retailers. And it’s a win for the 3PL too.
Here’s the breakdown.
Brand Benefits of Working with a 3PL Consolidator
The Retailer Pays for Shipping
For brands this is huge. Their shipments are no longer prepaid. For a number of our brands that we consolidate to Sephora and Ulta, that translates into hundreds of dollars saved per week. For some, thousands. Because Sephora and Ulta send their own trucks and cover the shipping costs, consolidated brands don’t have to work with LTL carriers. They don’t have to deal with the time and expense that comes with managing their own B2B freight.
Access to the Right People
Breaking in with a retailer like Ulta or Sephora typically isn’t easy for young upstart brands. As a consolidator and long-time partner to both Ulta and Sephora, we know what that takes. In fact, we’ve helped a number of our brands strike relationships with both retailers.
For our brands with Sephora or Ulta aspirations, we help them understand when they might be ready for those conversations. We help them with goal setting and strategy. Then, relying on the trust and goodwill we’ve built with Sephora and Ulta, we can help open the right doors.
This is just one way we help our brands scale to new heights.
Retailer Benefits of Working with a Consolidator 3PL
Multiple Brands, Full Trucks
For a retailer, a relationship with a 3PL that has the capability and the volume to consolidate multiple brands and, ultimately, full trucks into one shipment is a huge win. Everyone knows full trucks are always better than less than full trucks.
Say Sephora is coming to our warehouse on a Tuesday to pick up 13 purchase orders from 13 different brands. As a consolidator, we can tell them on the Friday before what our estimates are. We can then ping them on Monday with updated numbers.
Because we have such frequent (daily) communication with Sephora and Ulta, there are no surprises — retailer chargebacks or otherwise. There’s no situation where we say, “Expect five pallets on Tuesday,” only to find out on Tuesday that there are 10.
Less Road Miles
In 2023, we saved Ulta more than 900,000 road miles. For Sephora, it was well over a million. Not only does that have material financial value for the retailer, but it also raises their sustainability profile – which in turn, becomes a marketable value prop.
Benefits of Being a Consolidator 3PL
Access to New Brands
In the same way that our consolidator relationships can help our clients get in with Sephora and Ulta, those retailers often refer brands our way when they’re seeking new 3PL partners or adding new channels such as ecommerce or dropship. Retailers like Sephora and Ulta know our track record – and if we’re able to help their brands gain market share, that’s good for everyone.
So much of fulfillment is about being able to know what’s coming. Consolidator relationships allow us to staff properly and build a cadence. That cadence helps us consistently meet retailer requirements. We’re able to do the same thing every day and efficiently allocate resources as needed. This allows us to be more cost effective, saving our brands money.
With consolidator relationships, brands, retailers and 3PLs win. Brands save meaningful dollars and strengthen relationships with retailers. In turn, retailers access product from multiple brands with less coordination, fewer road miles traveled and reduced environmental impact. And finally, the 3PL wins, accessing new brands to partner with while enjoying a reliable level of predictability. It’s a symbiotic relationship all around.
Interested in learning more? We’re here to help.