BOLINGBROOK, Ill. - A leading U.S. cosmetics chain has halted expansion plans into Canada, saying it will instead focus on its U.S. operations and “omnichannel capabilities” including online shopping.

Ulta Beauty Inc. unveiled plans in May 2019 to become a “global beauty retailer” starting with a launch into Canada's competitive cosmetics market.

But in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, the Illinois-based retailer said it was scrapping its foray north as a result of the “current operating environment.”

“The company has decided at this time to prioritize growth of its U.S. operations and is suspending its planned expansion to Canada,” the company said.

The beauty retailer said halting those plans will cost US$55 million to US$65 million as a result of lease obligations for a small number of stores and early-stage infrastructure buildout.

Kecia Steelman, Ulta's chief store operations officer and president of its international division, said the company “did not take lightly” the decision to call off the expansion.