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August 3, 2010

Luxury Shopping Trends

• When analyzing luxury shopping in 2009, it was more booze, fewer shoes—but there was some good news for the beauty business: cosmetics and makeup showed some growth.

According to the Personal Luxury Report 2010, a new study from Unity Marketing that details the latest trends in luxury shopping, just 44% of affluent consumers bought any personal luxury in 2009, down 10 percentage points from 2006.

“Despite lower purchase levels, the affluents who bought personal luxuries in 2009 spent nearly 50% more on their purchases than they did in 2008. This indicates a trend toward a smaller group of high-spending consumers that must be carefully targeted in order for marketers’ companies to remain healthy,” explained Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing.
Personal Luxury Market—Winners & Losers

Below is a chart showing the fastest and slowest growing personal luxury categories in 2009. Cosmetics and makeup fared well, making an appearance in the top 10. The bath and body lotions category didn’t show the same stamina.

Personal Luxury Winners & Losers % Chg
in Share of Affluent Consumers Wallet2009-2008
Top 10 Winners

Cognac 219.7%
Bourbon 156.4%
Whiskey 155.2%
Men’s Jewelry 134.7%
Scotch 126.4%
Vodka 81.4%
Women’s Watch Dress/Formal 63.2%
Cosmetics, Makeup, etc. 63.1%

Slowest Growth Categories & Declining Categories
Women’s Handbags 8.2%
Women’s Jewelry 6.5%
Women’s Casual Clothes 2.1%
Men’s Formal/Evening Attire 0.6%
Women’s Dress/Business Clothes -2.0%
Bath and Body Lotions, Gels, etc. -6.9%

According to the Stevens, PA-based firm, affluents spent greater share of their wallet on rum, cognac and bourbon in 2009 as categories such as women’s shoes, women’s outerwear, baby’s clothes and children’s clothes experienced loss of share.

Cosmetics and makeup was one of the categories to show growth (see chart), accordingto Unity Marketing.

In luxury beauty and cosmetics, perhaps the most important finding, according to Unity Marketing, was loss of share by department stores in favor of specialty personal care/cosmetics stores. While department stores still retain the No. 1 slot as destination leader, the specialty stores are rapidly closing the gap as measured by share of affluent shoppers’ spending.

“As these key findings show, the personal luxuries market has changed by more than just who is buying and how much they are spending,”said Danziger.“Affluent consumers are also buying a different basket of personal luxury items from a different slate of distribution channels.

“It is a competitive new market for personal luxuries. Marketers must understand who their customers are, what items draw their interest, and where they wish to shop. Consumer intelligence like this report is the best first step to meeting the affluent consumer on his or her own turf,” she added.

The Unity Marketing report focuses on the buying and spending habits of the nation’s affluent households (the top 20% of U.S. consumer households) of high-end or luxury products and services.The 2009 survey sample included 4,739 luxury affluent consumers (average income of $220,200), representative of the 22 million affluent households in the country.

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Hair Care Product Sales Up in Department Stores
• Hair products sold in U.S. department stores—in particular, styling and mousse products and hair conditioners—continue to see retail sales success, according to a new report from The NPD Group, a Port Washington, NY-based research firm.

“The growth in styling and mousse products, as well as conditioners, is the latest evolution in what appears to be a growing trend in hair care products sold in the department store channel,” said Karen Grant, vice president and global industry analyst, The NPD Group.

The total hair category increased 5% in dollar sales January through May 2010, compared to the same time last year. The boost in the hair category is mostly due to the double-digit growth in the styling/mousse and conditioner sub-segments.

Styling/mousse hair products grew an impressive 34% in dollars, while conditioner hair products grew 12% in the first five months of the year. The increases in dollar sales have been consistently growing each month of this year so far.

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Focus on Health Is Good for Household, Personal Care
• More than half of all consumers (54%) say they have recently changed their views on health and wellness, according to statistics taken from The Hartman Group’s new study, Reimagining Health & Wellness 2010. And this increased focus on living a healthier life can be seen in the personal care and household products sectors.

In the past few years, consumers have become increasingly aware of the wellness implications of personal care and household products. According to the Bellevue, WA-based market research firm, 43% of consumers surveyed said personal care products being“non-toxic” is important and 33% believe cleaners being ‘natural’ is important.

Much of this is due to discourse around the sustainability trend and discussion about the intersection of personal and environmental health. Furthermore, mainstream brands creating or acquiring natural line extensions in these categories is making alternatives more accessible, according to Hartman.

Migration from conventional to more“natural”products signals a growing awareness of physical wellness beyond just food and exercise. It also reflects a broader consideration of things that influence health, from things not only in the body, but also on and around the body, the company said.

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