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New tracking tool reveals shifting beauty spending patterns

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Facial skin care Cosmetics

Cosmetics buying habits are shifting as the recession drags overall beauty product sales downwards, according to a new point-of-sale tracking product.

NPD and IRI have published the results for the first year of their Beauty Cross Channel Monitor that looks at US beauty sales across different retail channels.

New market tracking product

For the first time we have the ability to take a broader view of the US beauty industry,”​ said Diane Nicholson, president, Beauty, NPD Group. “When looking across total channels – department stores and food, drug and mass channels, excluding Walmart (FDMx) – we can size the market at $19.1 billion dollars, representing 60 percent of the US beauty industry.”

Comparing the figures for 2008 with 2007, the researchers found that the overall beauty market dropped 2 percent in value and that the prestige market took the greatest hit losing 3 percent.

Beauty sales were definitely down but there were some bright spots revealing potential opportunities for those able to follow the changing habits of the consumer.

Changes across channels and segments

In general sales in the mass market were stronger. The difference was particularly pronounced in the make-up segment where sales were down 4 percent through the prestige channel but grew 1 percent in the mass market.

However, hair care was a notable exception as sales dropped 4 percent through the mass channel, where most sales are made, but grew 6 percent in department stores.

Meanwhile, women’s and men’s fragrance sales were weak across all channels falling by 5 percent and 8 percent respectively.

Skin care was more robust seeing no change on the previous year. Within the category the best performance came from facial skin care, which represents 40 percent of the overall skin care market. Driven by 2.1 percent growth in the mass market, sales of these products were up 1 percent.

Top facial skin care brands

The Beauty Cross Channel Monitor found that the top 10 brands in the facial skin care segment were:

  1. Oil of Olay
  2. Clinique
  3. Neutrogena
  4. Estee Lauder
  5. Lancome
  6. L’Oreal
  7. Clean & Clear
  8. Aveeno
  9. Private label
  10. Shiseido

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