NPD: U.S. Prestige Fragrance Sales Flat in '13; Results are Mixed

The U.S. prestige beauty industry grew 5% in dollar sales in 2013 from a year ago, although fragrance dollars remained flat in the category, said market research firm The NPD Group.

(Click here to view NPD's chart of 2013 prestige beauty sales performance by country).  

Meanwhile, sales within the U.S. mass channel also increased slightly, up 1% for total beauty in 2013, versus 2012, according to NPD. The makeup category grew the most, at 2%, followed by skincare at 1%, but fragrance struggled with a 6% decline in dollars compared to 2012. 

"The attitude across the board reflects a new era of immediacy, looking for the quick fix of alphabet creams, masks, and illuminators, and the instant indulgence of classic and couture scents," said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst of The NPD Group. 

Value is important to consumers, but premium-priced offerings are thriving is U.S. prestige beauty, according to NPD, which presented the information at its 14th annual “Hot Off The Press” event at the Union League Club in New York on January 29. Even though sales for the total prestige fragrance category were flat, fragrances priced $100 and over grew 30% in dollars. In addition to the premium segment, the direct-to-consumer channel helped to drive growth for the beauty industry in 2013 by 19%. 

“Beauty is among a handful of industries showing growth in 2013,” said Grant. “Consumers continue to struggle with lower income levels, but the global economic environment continues to stabilize. The social trends all around us indicate an improving outlook and a willingness to invest when the associated risk is low; this is a real opportunity for our industry.”

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