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Prestige Skincare, Makeup Sales Up Post Recession


PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.—First half 2011 (January to June) prestige skincare and makeup dollar sales in U.S. department stores surpassed prerecession sales for the first half 2008, according to beauty market research conducted by The NPD Group Inc.

NPD Group reported first half 2011 prestige women’s and men’s skincare dollar sales increased 14 and 9 percent, respectively, compared to first half 2008. Prestige makeup sales increased nearly 4 percent, compared to prerecessionary levels.

All categories of prestige makeup posted growth. The strongest increases were attributed to the rediscovery by consumers of color cosmetics, such as eye and lip products, as well as the resurgence of the nail and other color segments. Most outstanding growth was in the nail category, which has increased 65 percent since first half 2008.

When looking at prestige skincare, every segment except for body, helped bring the category back to meet its prerecessionary levels; but the star category for prestige skincare was sets & kits, with 56-percent growth compared to first half 2008. The sets and kits segment experienced the highest dollar growth among all the segments for the past three semi-annual periods.

Prestige fragrance on the other hand, while not yet reaching prerecessionary levels, continues to build momentum. In first half 2011, women’s and men’s prestige fragrances, generated 4- and 2-percent less dollar sales, versus first half 2008. However, when compared to first half 2010, women’s and men’s prestige fragrance sales increased 14 and 8 percent, respectively, a healthy 10-percent dollar growth in total prestige fragrance overall.

“If prestige fragrance, sales momentum continues at the accelerated levels experienced since April 2011, sales in the second half of 2011 may well exceed the second half of 2008," said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Historically, we saw fragrance purchasing follow the consumer confidence trend. When sentiments were low, so were fragrance sales. However, the trend in fragrance appears to have shifted. While fragrance suffered the steepest declines at the start of the recession, there has been a turnaround in recent months even though consumer confidence has not yet fully recovered. Consumers are gravitating to classics and new scents, as well as, high-end and niche brands."

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