The company’s latest report on the prestige fragrance market in the US shows that in the first quarter of 2013 prestige women’s fragrance sales were up 8 percent, while units increased by 3 percent and the average price rose by 5 percent, compared to the same period last year.
NPD analysts believe that as the US economy shows distinct signs of economic recovery, as women are re-emerging after a prolonged period of tightened spending patterns, to splash out on relatively inexpensive luxury items.
“Women are spending more on their fragrances than last year, treating themselves to something a little more special,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, NPD Group. “Higher price points are driving the growth in sales.”
Top Three Women’s Fragrance Brands, Q1 2013
- Coco Mademoiselle
- Light Blue
In particular niche colognes and premium juices are leading the way, underlining the fact that women are increasingly prepared to pay a premium for these luxury treats.
According to NPD, sales of premium juices priced $100 and up grew by almost 40 percent during the quarter, and now account for approximately 22 percent of the total dollar sales of all women’s fragrances, surpassing the dollar sales of women’s fragrance gift sets priced under $100, which now account for 20 percent of the total.
Premium juices, a luxury treat
The gain made in market share in the premium juices category came despite the fact that value sales of fragrance gift sets also climbed by 9 percent during the quarter, with most of these gains likely coming from sets that are being marketed for Mother’s Day.
Grant believes that the greater growth rate in the premium juices segment emphasizes the focus on the fact that women consumers are increasingly ‘investing in the primary product’, while the higher price point is also driving the final sales figure.
Cologne is also flagged up as making significant gains during the quarter, showing double digit gains during the quarter to record a 4 percent share of the market, a growth that was driven by niche brands.
New launches and floral fragrances fail to shine
However, two areas that failed to shine in the category were floral fragrances and new launches. Sales of floral fragrances were reported to be flat during the quarter, while the value of new launches reached $7.9m, a figure that was down 27 percent compared to the corresponding period last year.
“Fragrance preferences among women remain relatively constant, but today, as we also see a broader global designer appeal in the top scents, it is important to keep a pulse on what the consumer wants, how she reacts to new offerings, and what will make her feel indulged,” Grant concluded.