Beauty shoppers return to physical stores for hands-on shopping experience

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Sales of beauty products in bricks and mortar stores increased in 13 weeks to the end of October 2021 as compared to the same period in 2020, says the data from the NPD Group which also shows that online sales for such products declined marginally over the same period.

As per the data by NPD, sales in physical stores increased by 9 per cent in October, suggesting that consumers are returning to physical stores for a more hands-on shopping experience.

The study highlighted that the beauty market has changed dramatically since last autumn when stores were periodically closed due to lockdown.  

As per NPD data, sales from brick and mortar stores accounted for 62 per cent of total sales weight, a figure which increases to 68 per cent when looking at the fragrance category in isolation. 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.

Fragrance is one of the most dynamic categories in prestige beauty, growing 14 per cent in the period from January 2021 to the end of October 2021, compared to the same period in 2021. This reflects a similar trend across the prestige beauty market where all categories (skincare, make-up and fragrance) are all performing positively compared to the same period in 2020.

Emma Fishwick, account manager at NPD UK Beauty, commented: “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. In bricks & mortar stores you can purchase the tangible product and take it away there and then.”