NPD Sees 11% Uptick in U.S. Prestige Beauty Sales in 2011

The NPD Group, Inc. presented a first look at the U.S. and global beauty industry’s 2011 year-end results for skin care, makeup, and fragrance at its annual “Hot off the Press” event at the Plaza Hotel in New York. According to NPD, the total U.S. prestige beauty industry showed an increase of 11% in dollar sales in 2011 versus 2010.

In 2011, skin care and fragrance sold in U.S. department stores both posted double-digit dollar growths of 14% and 11% respectively, while makeup grew a healthy 9%, compared to 2010.

In a more global outlook for prestige beauty, France grew 3% in 2011 versus 2010, the U.K. increased 9%, Italy was up 1%, Spain dropped 1%, China increased 22%, Mexico grew 15% and Argentina jumped an incredible 33%.

“In the U.S., the U.K. and China, prestige beauty is enjoying one of the most robust sales periods ever,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group. “In the U.S., for example, beauty sales in both the mass and prestige channels were positive month after month in 2011. And while both channels were positive, prestige beauty reigned supreme. From the stellar increases in prestige skin care to the continued gains in makeup, to the double-digit rebound of fragrance, prestige beauty is experiencing a time of unprecedented growth.

“In continental Europe,” Grant continued, “where the prestige market is more mature, growth is more tempered, and performance among the categories has not been as dynamic as in the U.S. or UK, but nonetheless, prestige beauty managed to flourish thanks to brand media investment, bigger in-store animation, and price promotions.”

In addition, the U.S. food/drug/mass channel experienced a 4% increase in sales for total beauty in 2011 versus 2010. Makeup sales posted the biggest increase at 8%, followed by skin care at 3%, while fragrance sales declined 5% in dollar sales compared to 2010. In national chain stores, fragrance sales grew 5%.

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