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‘Rediscovery’ of prestige make-up pushes sales to pre-recession levels

By Simon Pitman , 18-Aug-2011
Last updated the 18-Aug-2011 at 17:58 GMT

As US consumers come back round to color cosmetics, sales are now back above the pre-recession levels seen in 2008 while prestige fragrance sales remain subdued, according to market research NPD Group.

The researcher’s latest findings show that in the first half of 2011, total prestige skin care and make-up sales surpassed pre-recession levels for the first half of 2008, which is the point when the market began to shrink under economic pressures.

The company’s report highlights the fact that sales for prestige make-up increased by 4 percent, when compared to the pre-recession levels of 2008.

The researchers say that all segments within the prestige make-up category posted growth, as consumers made a marked return to their pre-recession spending patterns.

Color cosmetics lead the way

The strongest increases were witnessed in the color cosmetics segment, with products such as eye make-up and lipstick being specifically singled out as key drivers.

However, the main driving factor for growth in the first half of 2011 came from the nail category, which the company researchers estimate to have grown by 65 percent since the first of 2008.

In prestige fragrance, sales are building momentum, but have still failed to reach pre-2008 recessionary levels, the NPD research claims.

Prestige fragrance sales grow, but remain below 2008 figures

Women’s prestige fragrance sales generated 4 per cent less revenue in the first half of 2011 compared to the same period in 2008, while men’s prestige fragrance sales were down by 2 per cent on the same period comparison.

However, the year-on-year trend remains up compared to the first half of 2010, with sales of men’s prestige fragrances growing by 10 percent in the first half of 2011, while women’s prestige fragrances grew by 14 percent in the same period.

“If prestige fragrance sales momentum continues at the accelerated levels experienced since April 2011, sales in the second half of 2011 may well exceed the second half of 2008,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst at the NPD Group.

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