Sally Beauty Holdings announced on Tuesday plans to launch a private label credit card program for its Sally Beauty Supply and Beauty Systems Group stores, through a multi-year agreement with Alliance Data. Retail and professional customers of the beauty supply chain will be able to earn rewards when they make purchases through the forthcoming card.
The credit card program is expected to pilot in select stores in the second quarter of fiscal year 2020, followed by a national rollout for stores and e-commerce, according to a company press release.
Through the new credit card program, Sally Beauty is adding onto its existing Sally Beauty Rewards Loyalty Program, which has over 15 million active members, according to the company.
Sally Beauty's most recent version of its rewards club launched almost one year ago. The revamp sought to provide greater personalization for members, and offers $5 certificates for every $50 spent. The new program seeks to put Sally Beauty on an even playing field with Ulta's Ultimate Rewards program and Sephora's Beauty Insider program.
Both of its rivals' programs are incredibly popular with shoppers, and loyalty appears frequently as a highlight in Ulta's earnings reports, including its most recent quarter, when members of its loyalty program accounted for 95% of sales. And while private-label credit cards have dipped in popularity across the retail landscape, a store card could still be attractive to Sally Beauty's audience of industry professionals if they can score additional rewards.
But Sally, which is open to the public along with serving the pros, may have one major competitor in mind with its announcement: Amazon. The e-commerce giant launched its Professional Beauty Store in June, promising to be a one-stop-shop for salon staffers. Amazon requires customers to upload their cosmetology, barber or esthetician license in order to shop the storefront.
Sally Beauty has struggled in recent years to keep up with growth in the market, but launched an app for its rewards program in June, immediately following Amazon's announcement. The company had launched a mobile-first strategy in March, introducing a redesigned website and options to buy with Apple Pay and shop through Instagram.