As life returns to normal in the US, prestige beauty sales surged 16 per cent in the second quarter to reach US$6 billion, reports The NPD Group.

Makeup was a big winner with revenues rising 18 per cent to US$2 billion. Lip products had the fastest growth rate in the category of 28 per cent.

Upmarket fragrances also continued their climb back with sales growth of 13 per cent over the period to US$1.5 billion.

The continued popularity of skincare featuring vitamin C and retinol boosted sales in the sector by 12 per cent to US$1.7 billion.

Prestige haircare remained a hot favourite during Q2, posting growth of 24 per cent to US$781 million.

In addition to its strong revenue growth, beauty is the only industry with rising unit sales so far this year across the 14 discretionary retail industries tracked by NPD in the US – a testament to its resilience considering the beauty industry reverted to 2015 sales levels in 2020, says Larissa Jensen, beauty industry advisor, The NPD Group.

“Premiumisation is happening among the three categories performing the best; while fragrance and hair’s average prices are up due to consumer spending on higher-price, luxury items.”

But as more US consumers return to shopping in-store, online sales of prestige beauty products have taken a dive. According to a new report from software major 1010data – the 2022 E-Commerce Beauty Spotlight – the US, the largest beauty market in the world, saw a 14 per cent decline in online prestige beauty sales this year.

But the drop is only relative. Online prestige beauty sales are still up by contrast to pre-pandemic levels and premium beauty merchants in the US enjoyed revenues of US$3 billion over the past 12 months.

One key to success in 2022 and beyond will be for retailers to focus on their in-store presence and online education and marketing to meet their customers where they want to be, notes Jonah Ellin, chief product officer for 1010data.

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