Cosmetics Business reveals 5 trends shaping the future of beauty retail in new report

The pandemic acted as a catalyst for change in retail. This report reveals how beauty can build back better

Report introduction: At a glance

What's in this report?


Top 5 trends:

1. Re-imagining the experience

2. Localism and convenience

3. The livestream mainstream

4. Stores of sustainability

5. Touchless beauty tech

Country highlights


Global value and growth, 2020

Health and beauty specialist retailers includes chemists, pharmacies, drugstores, beauty specialist retailers and health care specialist retailers. Source: Euromonitor International

Key challenges addressed

For all the difficulties that beauty retail faced in 2020, it was a year that also kickstarted its transformation. Retail is being reimagined, remodelled and reclaimed. And while the main focus was on developing e-commerce and the online shopping experience last year, physical retail is up next, with glimmers of an exciting future already emerging.

Nevertheless the challenges are not to be underestimated. Alexis DeSalva Kahler, Senior Research Analyst, Retail and E-commerce at Mintel, tells Cosmetics Business: “Consumers’ disrupted routines have caused changes to the types of beauty products they use and how often. Retailers will face challenges getting consumers to stores and growing basket size and purchase frequency.”

Europe: Prestige beauty retail, value and growth, 2020

Source: The NPD Group

Florence Wright, Senior Retail Insight Analyst at Edge by Ascential, adds a further issue: “As shoppers cautiously ease back into pre-pandemic behaviours such as visiting physical stores, one of the key challenges for beauty retailers will be optimising their store networks to ensure shoppers feel safe, without losing the in-store experience.”

Boots, for example, has now re-introduced measures to enable shoppers to test premium make-up using disposable applicators dispensed by a beauty advisor, while continuing to also offer touch- free consultations it introduced earlier last year. The UK retailer was named as the safest place to shop on the high street, according to Kantar data (3 weeks ending 17 May 2020).

Going beyond safety, experience is now crucial in retail. By focusing on this, retailers can not only give shoppers reason to shop in-store, they can reward them for doing so.

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