According to beauty market research conducted by The NPD Group, Inc., during the first 10 months of 2011, (January–October), total prestige fragrance dollar sales in U.S. department stores were $1.7 billion, a healthy double-digit gain of 10%, compared to the same time last year. Units grew 6%with close to 30 million units sold.
This robust increase in fragrance sales represents the first year-to-date January to October dollar gain over the past three years for the overall category, as well as the strongest performance for the month of October since 2009. In addition, men’s fragrances experienced a better performance overall than women’s as that category grew 12% in dollars and women’s experienced a gain of 9% for year-to-date, January to October 2011.
New launches helped add to the strong fragrance growth by generating 4% year-to-date 2011, compared to one year ago for the same time period. While a man’s brand topped the rankings of all new launch brands year-to-date, January to October 2011, it was women’s brands that dominated the top five launches. The top five fragrance launches for the time period, according to The NPD Group, were: Gucci Guilty Homme (men), Justin Bieber Someday (women), Daisy Eau So Fresh (women), Jimmy Choo (women) and Sensuous Nude (women).
“Heading into holiday, designers and celebrities alike have new and first-time scents slated for launch in the coming months. From the looks of it, both fragrance categories will be shining well into fourth quarter,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group.
Another good sign for the fragrance category, after several years of consistently ranking as the number 10 item consumers plan to buy as a holiday, fragrances moved up two rank positions to become number eight, according to the NPD Holiday Survey of Consumer Intentions.
“With almost one fourth of annual prestige fragrance sales coming in the last two weeks before Christmas, this will prove to be a nail-biting—as well as a potentially exhilarating—holiday period. All indications point to a great year for fragrance: the consumer is showing increased interest and affinity, the line up of scents is compelling, and the momentum heading into holiday is quite fragrant,” concluded Grant.