Total U.S. prestige skincare and makeup sales during H1 2011 surpassed pre-recession volumes in H1 2008; prestige women's and men's skincare dollar sales increased 14% and 9%, respectively, compared to H1 2008

PORT WASHINGTON, New York , August 19, 2011 (press release) – According to beauty market research conducted by The NPD Group, Inc., a leading market research company, first half 2011, (January through June), total prestige skincare and makeup dollar sales in U.S. department stores, surpassed sales for the first half 2008, which is pre-recession.

In first half 2011, prestige women's and men's skincare dollar sales increased 14 and nine percent, respectively, compared to first half 2008. Prestige makeup sales increased as well, nearly four percent, compared to pre-recessionary levels.

All categories of prestige makeup posted growth. The strongest increases can be attributed to the rediscovery by consumers of color cosmetics, such as eye and lip products, as well as the resurgence of the nail and other color segments. Most outstanding growth was in the nail category, which has increased 65 percent since first half 2008.

When looking at prestige skincare, every segment except for body, helped bring the category back to meet its pre-recessionary levels, but the star category for prestige skincare was sets & kits, with 56 percent growth, compared to first half 2008. The sets and kits segment experienced the highest dollar growth among all the segments for the past three semi-annual periods.

Prestige fragrance on the other hand, while not yet reaching pre-recessionary levels, continues to build momentum. In first half 2011, women's and men's prestige fragrances, generated four and two percent less dollar sales, versus first half 2008. However, when compared to first half 2010, women's and men's prestige fragrance sales increased 14 and eight percent, respectively, a healthy 10 percent dollar growth in total prestige fragrance overall.

"If prestige fragrance sales momentum continues at the accelerated levels experienced since April 2011, sales in the second half of 2011 may well exceed the second half of 2008," said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group.

"Historically, we saw fragrance purchasing follow the consumer confidence trend. When sentiments were low, so were fragrance sales. However, the trend in fragrance appears to have shifted. While fragrance suffered the steepest declines at the start of the recession, there has been a turnaround in recent months even though consumer confidence has not yet fully recovered. Consumers are gravitating to classics and new scents, as well as, high-end and niche brands," ended Grant.

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