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The beauty factor

In his latest column, DSN’s editor-in-chief examines how as the beauty industry grows and evolves, mass retailers are leading the surge.

Beauty is having a moment. Management consulting firm McKinsey & Company said COVID-19 forced the closure of premium beauty-product outlets so approximately 30% of the beauty-industry market was shut down. Some of these stores will never open again, and new openings will likely be delayed. Other estimates say that at the peak of the pandemic, beauty sales had slumped close to 36% due to work-from-home orders, social distancing and limited gatherings.

But there has been a reversal of fortune. McKinsey says on its website that the beauty market—skin care, fragrance, makeup and hair care—generated approximately $430 billion in revenue in 2022. “Today, beauty is on an upward trajectory across all categories,” the consulting firm writes. “It has proven to be resilient amid global economic crises and in a turbulent macroeconomic environment. Beauty is now an industry that many people, from top-tier financiers to A-list celebrities, want to be a part of—and with good reason.”

What’s more, Statista estimates that revenue in the beauty and personal care market will amount to $579.20 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow annually by 3.53% (CAGR from 2023 to 2028). Because mass beauty is part of this beauty conversation, Drug Store News held its first in-person beauty event earlier this summer.

In addition to exclusive research from Spate and Coresight Research and hearing from executives at TIME magazine, Spotify and Popcorn Growth, attendees heard from retailers about the moves they are making in the beauty segment. Key executives from Walgreens, CVS and Walmart shared their thoughts on important and timely topics—serving shoppers in underserved groups, such as menopausal women and the physically challenged; the importance of personalization in beauty; and the important link between health and beauty.

What’s clear is that as the beauty industry grows and evolves, mass retailers are competing with prestige outlets and becoming a key destination for today and tomorrow’s shoppers.

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