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Global Prestige Beauty Sales Are Mixed

Published March 5, 2013
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Prestige beauty sales were mixed in some of the biggest markets on earth in 2012, according to a new study by NPD Group. While the US and UK posted strong gains, results in France, Italy and Spain were disappointing.

US prestige beauty industry posted a 7% gain in 2012, generating $10.2 billion, compared to the 11% increase in 2011. However, challenging economic conditions contributed to sales declines across many European countries.

Annual 2012 growth in the US was driven primarily by skin care, which amounted to $3.4 billion. Makeup had the second highest gains generating $3.8 billion in sales, followed by fragrance at $2.9 billion. Premium-priced products in all US beauty categories prevailed in the dollars gained in 2012, according to NPD.

In Europe, skin care sales were down 2% in overall category performance with some pockets of growth in the face, body and sun segments. Driven by the strong sales in the UK, makeup was the only category to experience an overall growth of 2% throughout Europe, with face, eye, lip and nail representing 92% of the European prestige beauty business. Fragrances were down 1% overall, comprised of juices, ancillaries and gift sets.

Taking a closer look at each market, US sales rose 7%, as skin care (+10%), makeup (+7%) and fragrance (+5%) all posted gains.

Sales in France fell 1% to $3.5 billion as skin care sales were flat, and makeup and fragrance sales each declined 1%

UK sales jumped 5% as sales rose for skin care (5%), makeup (11%) ad fragrance (3%).

Sales in Italy decline 4%, led by a 6% decline in skin care sales and a 3% drop for fragrances. Makeup sales were flat.

The troubled Spanish market fell 6% last year, due to a 9% decline in makeup, a 7% decline in skin care and a 6% decline in fragrance sales.

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