UK beauty industry overtakes French market in value

The UK beauty industry overtook France in terms of sales for the first time ever in 2015, according to figures from COPRA (the Cosmetic and Perfumery Retailers Association).

Though the French beauty market is historically healthy, with high demand for its traditional pharmacy brands, the British beauty industry surpassed the £4 billion sales mark thanks in part to a strong Christmas sales period and the surge in popularity of Black Friday online shopping.

The figures were announced yesterday at the COPRA Awards lunch in London, where COPRA vice chairman Rakesh Aggarwal said: “It’s been an exciting year for COPRA and the beauty industry. Prestige beauty sales grew by 5% and for the first time the UK beauty market is bigger than that of France. This unprecedented move was driven by a double-digit growth in make-up sales, a strong Christmas market, and Black Friday, which is now a well-established part of the beauty marketing calendar with sales up by 7% across the board and a phenomenal 38% increase of sales online.

“Total beauty sales for 2015 were £4bn, with the prestige, luxury beauty market accounting for £2.4bn - up £110m on 2014. The success of the past year is down to some amazing new product launches, innovative new make-up lines, cutting edge skincare, and sensuous new fragrances.”

Sales were down slightly across all categories in the French beauty market last year, while the UK market is now twice the size of both the Italian and Spanish industries. The most successful product launches of the year were fine fragrances – Dior Sauvage for men and Paco Rabanne Olympea for women.