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Prestige beauty paints a mixed picture

Katie Nichol

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Prestige beauty paints a mixed picture

The prestige beauty market is contrasted, with a scissors effect between makeup and skincare, highlighted market-research firm The NPD Group at CEW’s Beauty Business event in Paris last week.

Prestige beauty sales in North America were flat In the 12 months ending November 2019, says NPD, while the market in South America was up by 19%. Sales in Europe increased by 1%.

In terms of categories, makeup saw a slowdown in all countries surveyed except Italy and Spain, where sales were up 5% and 3% respectively. Prestige makeup sales decreased 5% in Canada and 7% in the US. In the UK, sales fell 7%, while in France they were down 6% and in Germany fell by 3%.

Skincare has proved to be the most dynamic prestige category in all countries. Sales were up 9% in Canada +5% in the US and in Europe the market rose by 10% in Spain, 6% in Italy and 3% in Germany. Sales in the UK were down 1%, while those in France were flat.

In France, prestige beauty sales fell 1% last year with the country’s €3bn prestige beauty market contracting by 4% over the past five years. However, the market better resisted in 2019 (sales were up 1% in the fourth quarter), thanks to Black Friday, an upturn in brick-and-mortar sales, global shoppers and men’s fragrance.

NPD highlighted a strong growth opportunity in premium and ultra-premium skincare in France. Sales of anti-aging skincare priced above €175 saw value growth of +11% between 2016 and 2019, with this segment accounting for 24% of total anti-aging sales in value in 2019. Sales of anti-aging skincare priced above €350 saw value growth of 59% between 2016 and 2019, accounting for 8% of total anti-aging in value in 2019.

Looking ahead to this year, NPD Industy Analyst and Director of Beauty Europe Mathilde Lion said that the market is currently too uncertain to make forecasts, but that 2020 will be green, transparent and sustainable.

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