BOLINGBROOK, IL — Ulta Beauty, the largest beauty retailer in the US, has named Zeno its new PR agency of record, PRovoke has learned.

Ulta awarded Zeno its PR business following a competitive review late last year, VP of public relations Eileen Ziesemer said. The partnership officially began Feb. 1.

Ketchum and SEEN Group were Ulta’s previous agency partners.

“Throughout the process, we were impressed by the agency’s deep corporate and consumer expertise — and the intersections of those two relative to our brand narrative and experiences,” said Ziesemer, who joined Ulta from MSL in March 2020. “In every discussion, the team brings strong strategic insights and importantly, reinforces our shared values. The work is off to a strong start and we look forward to a very successful relationship.”

Zeno’s partnership with Ulta comes ahead of the retailer’s expansion into Target stores, where it will set up mini shops starting later this year. The plan calls for Ulta — which has more than 1,200 retailer stores — to start in 100 Target stores and expand into several hundred more from there. The chain plans to open roughly 100 stand-alone stores this year as well, according to Forbes.

Ulta had been on a growth trajectory before the start of the coronavirus outbreak last March, forcing temporary closures of the stores.  In January, the retailer laid off an undisclosed number corporate employees Covid-19’s impact on sales.