Prestige beauty market enjoys sales boost following Brexit vote, finds NPD Group

The market for the sale of prestige beauty products reported impressive growth post-Brexit, according to the NPD Group Inc., a global information company. Sales of prestige beauty products grew twice as fast, at 6% in the three months following the UK referendum to leave the European Union (July to September 2016) compared to just 3% growth from January to June 2016.

The greatest growth post-Brexit has been in the sale of niche fragrances (£125+) and super premium skincare (£200+), both of which reported double digit growth.

Prestige beauty plays a vital role in the cosmetic market in the UK, and sales of prestige beauty products in the UK was valued at £2,446m in 2015. The post-Brexit boost in sales has been warmly welcome by the beauty industry. “The growth in prestige beauty sales is impressive,” says Teresa Fisher, senior account manager, NPD UK Beauty. She adds: “Post-Brexit there was much uncertainty in the market, but what these figures show is that the demand for luxury and prestige beauty products has been boosted by Brexit. Why? We know that shopping in the UK became less expensive for overseas tourists due to the drop in the value of the pound and that the largest growth in the market has been in London and online.”

Growth of niche fragrances and super premium skincare
Post-Brexit Britain witnessed a boom in the sale of luxury, high-end beauty products with a premium price tag. Reporting double digit growth, super premium skincare sales rose 32% compared to the same period in 2015, and in comparison to pre-Brexit where the sector only grew by 4%. Niche fragrances reported an increase of 59.5% in sales compared to the same period in 2015, growing twice as fast as vs pre-Brexit (at 28% growth in January to June 2016 compared to 2015).

Driving growth: London and online
Most regions in the UK reported growth in sales of prestige beauty products with Midland and the East plus Yorkshire and the North East demonstrating the strongest areas outside London. However, it was in London where the greatest growth was reported and this was mimicked online.

For the three-month period July to September 2016, online sales (although it only represents 9.2% of total prestige beauty market) increased by 34.3% compared to the period July to September 2015 and contributes most (43.7%) to total prestige beauty growth in this period.

The second biggest contributor in the three-month period post Brexit was London, with 37.9% of total growth, increasing sales at by 7.3%. London represents 30.1% in value of the total prestige beauty market in the UK.

Yorkshire/North-East is third highest contributor reporting 8.3% of total growth in this period, increasing value sales by 4.3% compared to the same period in 2015, representing 10.8% of the Total Prestige business.

Brexit Britain
Fisher concludes: “The sale of prestige beauty products has seen unprecedented growth in the three-month period following Brexit. This is great news for retailers and manufacturers both in store and online and represents a huge opportunity for prestige beauty in the upcoming Christmas festive season, however, based on trended insight we do not believe this can be sustained. We have already seen that some manufacturers in the news have increased their pricing so it will be an opportunity to review the future ahead with regards to consumer’s ongoing purchasing habits.”