UK prestige beauty saw late Christmas surge says NPD
Demand for prestige beauty products in the UK continues to rocket and sales leapt 46% year-on-year in the last trading week to Christmas, according to The NPD Group’s latest figures. Fragrance was the star gift performer.
In the final retail week before Christmas, spending across both physical and digital stores hit £161.6 million, an increase of £26.5 million compared to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019.
Although the latest performance was up against last year’s low-key lockdown Christmas, figures also show sales were up 20% compared to the same period in 2019.
And, of course, those latest high-end sales were won despite the backdrop of a “challenging” and “uncertain” Christmas trading period, hit by additional restrictions and the emerging Omicron variant.
NPD said that after a slow start in December, due to uncertainty over new restrictions, “consumers flocked to prestige beauty retailers in the last week before Christmas”.
It was a positive story across the sector, boosted by last-minute consumer demand for prestige beauty products across both physical stores and digital channels. Unit sales increased 6%, and the average sales price increased 13% compared to the same week in 2019.
E-commerce continued to be the winner, and accounted for 56% of the market gains while sales increased 84% compared to 2019.
Sales in physical stores during week 51 also performed well against 2019, increasing 10%, “helped by the timing of Christmas Day, ensuring consumers had three additional days to shop pre-Christmas”, the report noted.
And physical stores sales increased 64% compared to 2020 when a high proportion of the country in regional lockdowns.
By category, fragrance drove pre-Christmas market growth with sales increasing 53% and 31% respectively compared to the same weeks in 2020 and 2019.
Sales of men’s fragrance increased 36% and sales of women’s fragrance grew 28% compared to the same period in 2019.
Sales of skincare, make-up and haircare also enjoyed double-digit growth in week 51 compared to the same week in 2020.
Subsegments that recorded the highest percentage growth compared to the same week in 2020 include: bubble bath (+706%), hair masks (+131%) and candles (+108%).
Emma Fishwick, Account Manager, NPD UK Beauty, said: “The impressive results reported in week 51 2021, compared to both 2020 and 2019, demonstrates the importance of prestige beauty to the Christmas gift-giving period. These positive sales figures are very welcome news for retailers and brands alike.”
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