Data from The NPD Group for Q2 prestige product sales in the beauty category shows an unprecedented tumble in US sales, with pockets of growth driven by self-care and DIY beauty. Sales came in at $2.8 billion, a 36% drop from the second quarter of 2019. Online sales soared more than 90%, accounting for 61% of industry sales volume and 70% of market share.
“We’ve seen segments and subsegments decline, but not at the total industry level,” Larissa Jensen, beauty industry advisor for NPD, told WWD.
“April, for the most part, was all shut down across the country. It was the toughest month across every category in beauty,” she said. “We did go from a very skin-care-centric mind-set; there were weeks when skin care was half of all industry sales. As we came out [of lockdown], we started to see the shift more toward makeup and fragrance.”
- Makeup down 52% with $869.0 million in sales but online sales for the category are up +79%.
- Fragrance down 37% with $586.2 million in sales but online only sales up +104%.
- Skincare sales fell -18% with $1.1 billion in sales but online sales up +93%.
- Haircare down -10% with $197.2 million in sales but online sales for the category up +95%.
Pockets of Growth:
- Hair treatments and masks +30%
- Nail care +29%
- Body and facial devices +16%
- Body exfoliators +15% percent
- Candles +13%
- Home ancillary gift sets +88%
- Eye makeup +6% percent, because of false eyelashes, brow products, eyeliner, and mascara
- Pivot to clinical skincare; in 2019 during the same period natural skincare was the top brand type.
- Products that support DYI professional services and at-home spa environment drove pockets of growth.
- Week over week, holidays in May and June propped up personal fragrance sales. The week of Mother’s Day, women’s fragrance surged with 96% growth. Men’s fragrance also increased by 117% the week of Father’s Day. Consumers prioritized concentrated formats, such as “parfum” and “eau de parfum,” which resulted in million in sales for the category overall.
- NPD reports that more than half of beauty shoppers in the US intend to purchase beauty products in the next month, which is higher than apparel, footwear, sporting goods, accessories, and watches.
- Beauty consumers also reportedly remain more optimistic about the future than the average consumer.
- 27% of women who wear makeup say they are using it less often than they did a year ago; only 19% are using it more often.
- 71% of women who wear makeup in the US said that they wear makeup less often due to COVID-19 lifestyle changes.
- 60% of women report using products with natural ingredients.
- The internet is the #2 source of information on makeup products (41%, up 4% vs. 2018). Online purchasing incidence is 49% in 2020, up 8% vs. 2018.
“Our recovery is going to be slower and longer than an entire country, like France, that’s open,” Jensen said. “At points, there are signs of consumer interest in the categories, there’s just a lot of concern about going back out. If we’re still in a position where brick-and-mortar is still closed, or consumers are not going out to stores, there may be challenges.”
Photo: Felicia Buitenwerf via Unsplash