Prestige skin care, 
fragrance flourish


In the United States, beauty sales in both the mass and prestige channels were positive month after month in 2011, but prestige beauty took the spotlight in 2011, according to market research company The NDP Group.

In fact, the total U.S. prestige beauty industry experienced an 11% increase in dollar sales during 2011, with skin care and fragrance sold in U.S. department stores posting double-digit gains.

The U.S. food, drug and mass channel experienced a 4% increase in sales for total beauty in 2011 versus 2010. Makeup sales posted the biggest increase at 8%, followed by skin care at 3%, while fragrance sales declined 5% in dollar sales compared with 2010, according to NPD. In the prestige channel — meaning those products sold mainly in U.S. department stores — skin care and fragrance flourished, posting double-digit dollar growth of 14% and 11%, respectively, while makeup grew 9% compared with 2010.

“In continental Europe, where the prestige market is more mature, growth is more tempered, and performance among the categories has not been as dynamic as in the [United States] or [United Kingdom]. But nonetheless, prestige beauty managed to flourish thanks to brand media investment, bigger in-store animation and price promotions,” stated Karen Grant, VP and senior global industry analyst for NPD.

In a separate statement release in late 2011, Grant noted that while neutral tones and face products led in makeup in the past, strong gains in color categories of lip and nail color, and a new focus on eye shadow and eye definition with growth in eye pencil and brow products, had spread across countries during the first 10 months of 2011.

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