Christmas comes early for beauty on the high street as perfume boosts sales 

UK shoppers are returning to high street bricks-and-mortar and leaving online shopping behind

Luxury beauty on the high street has bounced back, boosted by early Christmas shopping.

The NPD Group reported that prestige beauty sales in UK bricks-and-mortar stores increased 9% in the 13 weeks to the end of October 2021, compared to the same period in 2020.

Online sales for premium cosmetics declined by 6% versus the same period last year.

The luxury beauty market has seen a shift since last autumn when stores were periodically closed nationwide due to Covid-19 lockdowns, but consumers are now returning to physical stores for a more hands-on shopping experience.

Bricks-and-mortar sales accounted for 62% of total sales, which was bolstered by fragrance, as the category claimed 68% of market share.

The fragrance category has grown 14% in the period from 1 January to 31 October 2021 compared to 2020.

The NPD Group reported the uptick in sales as an indication of early festive spending. 

The market researchers stated: "This again is positive news heading into the Christmas retail period as historically, November and December account for approximately half of a full year’s worth of fragrance sales."

Skin care and make-up also performed positively compared to the same periods last year.

Emma Fishwick, Account Manager of NPD UK Beauty, said: “It’s great news to see consumers returning to the high street and visiting beauty counters.

“It demonstrates the continued importance of beauty consultants, and there are other benefits including no delivery costs, you can touch, feel and smell products while also embracing the social aspect of retail therapy.” 

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