Beauty sales on the UK high street are outpacing other retail sales, according to a new survey by Mintel, commissioned by CEW (UK).
Sales increased by 18% among premium department stores between 2015 and 2017, to top £2bn, while among traditional specialist retailers, such as Boots, Superdrug and The Body Shop, sales reached £3.7bn, an increase of 9%.
“Right now beauty is the major totem pole on the UK high street and other retailers want a chunk fo beauty in their offering,” explained Caroline Neville, President of CEW (UK). “Bricks and Mortar retailing is still crucial and the primary medium for consumers to interact and purchase brands. The accessibly of ‘see, touch, feel’ that it provides will be key going forward.”
Online sales continued to be a strong force in 2017, according to Mintel, with UK consumers spending £1.1bn online. One in three consumers bought beauty and personal care products online last year, said the analyst.
The UK is now the sixth largest market for beauty and personal care, worth around £10.2bn in 2017.
According to Mintel, UK consumers spent £25.1bn on beauty in 2017, with per capita spend put a £155, the fifth highest in the world. The outlook for sales over the four years is steady with Mintel currently estimating the market will grow to £26.9bn by 2022.
Despite the negative headlines generated by stores including House of Fraser in recent months, there has been considerable development in the UK high street beauty market.
John Lewis introduced its Beauty Studio concept, part of a £3.5m brand investment in the retailer’s beauty and fragrance halls, which features new exclusive brands and the range extension of existing popular beauty brands, as well as new beauty services and education programmes.
And Debenhams launched a new Beauty Club Community, its first social media platform for beauty fans, which aims to bring a better customer service to its consumers across its digital spaces.
The platform includes recommendations, according to colour or skin type, as well as access to exclusive content on beauty themes and trends.
Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has also announced plans of a new beauty push, which will see eight stores introduce beauty advisors, new brands and department store-stye layouts.