Prestige beauty sales fell 3% last year due to low consumer confidence

Although the total UK prestige beauty industry generated £2.6 billion in sales last year, the sector experienced a 3% decline in comparison to 2018’s figures due to uncertainty around Brexit and low consumer confidence, found data from market analyst The NPD Group.

Despite this change in client spending habits, it’s not all bad news, with sales in the prestige women’s facial skincare sector soaring 2% in the same period – reporting £605m in sales, thanks to more hands-on, consultant-led selling via workshops, sampling and lessons. 

“2019 has been a challenging year for the prestige beauty market, driven in part by conscious consumerism and sustainability,” said Emma Fishwick, account manager for NPD UK beauty. 

“Ecommerce is growing and the way customers shop and interact with brands is also fluctuating. Agile brands are responding to this ‘disruption’, adapting their retail offering with more experiential retail opportunities for customers.” 

The introduction of augmented reality (AR), such as magic mirrors, is being tipped as a good opportunity to merge digital with bricks and mortar. 

How has the prestige make-up market been affected?

The prestige make-up market reported an 8% decline in sales in 2019 (valued at £721m) compared to 2018, attributed to clients returning to the “natural look”. 

“Natural is a buzzword in many industries, especially beauty, in terms of product ingredients as well as consumers looking to achieve a more natural look. How make-up responds to this movement will be key to its revival,” added Fishwick. 

“Historically, NPD data has detected a shift between make-up and skincare every four to five years. Based on this, and the slowdown in make-up that began to take hold in 2017, I anticipate we’ll see make-up rebound in a few years.”

Check out the five trends set to take the make-up industry by storm in 2020. 

Meanwhile, the fragrance category still represents the largest share of beauty sales, accounting for £1.3 billion in sales. 

What do you make of this news? Comment below. 

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