Stars launch new fragrances in time for Christmas

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Odor Aroma compound

A flurry of new fragrance launches bearing the names and images of some of the world’s most recognized faces has marked the run-up to the all important holiday season.

International stars such as David and Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton and Christina Aguilera, to name just a few, have fronted a series of major fragrance launches in the past few weeks.

The stars, and the fragrance companies that they help to promote, are hoping to tap into what is a crucial period for many of the big industry names.

Holiday season is fragrance time

Indeed, some luxury fragrance manufacturers estimate that up to a half of their annual sales are achieved during the holiday period.

In view of this fact, and the current state of the US retail landscape, the marketing campaigns surrounding this year's star sponsored fragrances are being launched earlier and more aggressively than ever.

Likewise, manufacturers of luxury bath, body care and make-up products also traditionally manage to boost holiday sales by successfully marketing ever-popular gift packs.

However, although the stars have traditionally put their faces to some of the world’s most popular fragrances, some industry analysts are wondering whether the pulling power of A-list Hollywood names can be sustained at a time when consumers are continuing to tighten their belts.

Fragrance growth stalled in 2007

The National Retail Federation estimated that retail spend in the US grew by 4 per cent in the November - December 2007 period, the slowest growth rate in five years - while the International Council of Shopping Centers said that sales for the period grew by 2.5 percent or less.

With last year’s retail growth during the holiday season coming in at below market expectations, the current economic background seems to indicate that this year’s figures could be even worse.

This gives many industry observers reason to believe that the outlook seems far from rosy for holiday season 2008 fragrance sales, explaining why the star’s have already embarked on aggressive marketing campaigns for this season’s launches.

Consumers go for tried and tested

Market data from the NPD group for luxury fragrances in 2007 showed that they failed to match the success of their counterparts in the luxury skin care and make-up categories, with overall sales slipping 1 percent to $2.5bn

However, sales of fragrances that have been on the market since 2006 or before grew by two percent suggesting that consumers are returning to well-known and trusted products.

"It may be that consumers are finding comfort in familiar brands because of the crowded marketplace,"​ said NPD analyst Karen Grant.

Commenting on the poor sales, she also said around one-third of fragrance sales are made in December but this year scents were competing against hot consumer items like GPS systems and digital picture frames making it harder for them to stand out.

Related topics Market Trends

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