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Research Details

Thank God It's Natural: A Distribution Dilemma

Abstract

Chris-Tia Donaldson, the CEO and founder of specialty hair care brand Thank God It's Natural (tgin), had built the company into a national brand widely available across the United States at major retailers such as Amazon, Target, and Walmart. But one important beauty retailer still did not yet carry the brand: Ulta Beauty, a US chain of 1,196 brick-and-mortar beauty stores located predominantly in high-traffic shopping centers. Ulta also had a robust online storefront in Ulta.com and had cultivated a vibrant social media presence.

On Donaldson's desk was an offer from Ulta Beauty to stock tgin for the first time. On the surface, signing a distribution agreement with Ulta seemed like the right thing to do. However, Donaldson was concerned about Ulta's requirement that tgin develop a new product line that would be sold exclusively through the beauty retailer's channels for one year. Donaldson would need to trust that the new line would sell well enough at Ulta to recoup her upfront costs. Was this distribution agreement with Ulta really the best path forward for tgin?

Type

Case

Author(s)

Jim Lecinski, Helena Bouchez

Date Published

03/01/2021

Discipline

Marketing

Citations

Lecinski, Jim, and Helena Bouchez. Thank God It's Natural: A Distribution Dilemma. Case 5-420-757.

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