Prestige fragrance sales in US department stores increased 7 percent to $1.6bn between January and September 2012, with particularly strong growth among niche and jewelry brands according to The NPD Group.
Sales of men’s prestige fragrances grew slightly faster than women's, with increases of 7 percent and 6.5 percent respectively during the period according to the market researcher.
Looking at the market in detail, designer fragrances, which account for nearly three quarters of the total market, grew 7 percent, while growth among niche brands such as Jo Malone and Creed and jewelry brands such as Cartier and Bulgari was more than double this.
Niche and jewelry brands sales growth double that of designer scents
Overall, total jewelry and niche fragrance sales grew 19 percent between January and September 2012, with the men’s category witnessing growth of 20 percent and the women’s category climbing 18.5 percent.
“Even though niche and jewelry brands make up only nine percent of the total prestige fragrance market they are creating a new dynamic in the larger fragrance arena,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst at NPD.
“They are growing faster than any other type of fragrance in the prestige space and their combined sales are actually more than double the size of prestige celebrity fragrances,” she added.
Significant opportunity to expand sales further
NPD highlighted that the average price point of niche and jewelry fragrance brands is one of the highest in the prestige fragrance market, showing that even in an uncertain economic environment, consumers are still prepared to spend in this segment.
“It is quite a compelling story that despite the economic uncertainties that prevail, we continue to see sizable pockets of growth in prestige fragrance”, said Grant, adding that consumers are continuing to invest where they see value.
Grant said that when comparing the scope of the premium market in countries like France, it is evident that there is still significant opportunity in the US to further expand sales.