Coronavirus: US make-up sales slump 50% during lockdown, online keeps other categories afloat

By Becky Bargh | Published: 3-Aug-2020

The results, collated by The NPD Group, show the make-up category suffered the most in the US in Q2 and point to the necessity of an online strategy for brand success

A new report by The NPD Group has found US make-up sales have slumped by more than half from April to June.

The results revealed a 52% downturn in sales for the category to US$869m, compared with the same period in 2019.

Week-on-week, make-up sales are said to have softened with eye make-up up 6%, driven by sales of false eyelashes, mascara, eyebrow make-up and eye liner.

Despite the disappointing reports for Q2, purchases online across skin, hair, fragrance and make-up were up by more than 70% during the three months.

Fragrance reported the most impressive increase in online purchases, with a 104% boost, followed by hair up 95% and skin care up 93%.

“Many bright spots remain despite the continued struggle in prestige beauty, which has been one of the hardest hit industries in 2020,” said Larissa Jensen, The NPD Group’s Beauty Industry Advisor.

However, Jensen predicts bricks-and-mortar will remain a “key factor” in prestige beauty’s recovery.

“While online sales have been strong, the success of bricks-and-mortar remains a key factor in the industry’s recovery.

“As we enter the second half of the year, this channel dynamic is one to watch closely.

“Agility will be important in developing a winning strategy for holiday, which may look very different this year.”

‘Covid-19 amplifies make-up’s decline’

Coronavirus: US make-up sales slump 50% during lockdown, online keeps other categories afloat

By Becky Bargh
Senior News and Social Media Reporter

Demand for make-up brands worldwide has slowed in recent years.

In 2019, L’Oréal’s full-year results confirmed sales of the beauty giant’s make-up brands were ‘sluggish’ in western Europe, while Coty’s Consumer Beauty Division, which includes CoverGirl, Rimmel and MaxFactor, saw a 10% slump in 2018.

Last year, L’Oréal-owned Revlon was forced to hire Goldman Sachs for a strategic review of its business as full year sales dipped in 2018 and 2019.

And this has only been amplified during the coronavirus pandemic.

With more consumers working remotely, ‘at-home’ spa products have come into favour.

Searches for hairdresser scissors rocketed more than 3,000% in April, according to RedBrain, while hair curlers and manicure glue saw significant increases.

But, despite this, and as Jensen said, brands should not be tempted to solely put their faith in online.

Giving the in-store space a make-over and creating a new experience for shoppers will increase footfall, even during a global pandemic.

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