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Markets & trends

France: Perfume and makeup sales drive the prestige market

In a generally gloomy economic context, prestige cosmetics have avoided a big crash in France thanks to a rather dynamic second half. According to the latest figures released by The NPD Group, the market only recorded a slight decrease of -0.6 per cent in 2014, against -0.9 per cent in 2013. This outcome could have been much worse without French craze for perfume and makeup.

Once again, the French beauty market shows that its ability to resist in a difficult economic environment,” said The NPD Group. According to the market research firm, sales of selective cosmetics decreased by -0.6% in 2014 (vs. -0.9% in 2013) and achieved a total turnover of nearly 2.9 billion euros.

Recording an increase of +0.2% over 2014, perfume drove the French beauty market. © Dmitriy Titov /

Recording an increase of +0.2% over 2014, perfume drove the French beauty market. © Dmitriy Titov /

Two contrasted periods

The year was marked by two major phases. The first half was marked by a significant downturn (-1.5 per cent), followed by a rebound in sales from August, thanks to a trend shift on perfumes and makeup in the second half which closed with a +0.1 per cent increase, despite the fact that December sales failed to reach expectations.

"The good news came from the perfume and makeup that were back on growth trail in the second half, in particularly with strong performances of women’s fragrances driven by successful Autumn launches and by new additions to classic lines,” said Mathilde Lion, beauty expert for Europe at The NPD Group.

Perfumes drive the market

Fragrances, selective beauty’s main category of (2/3 of total sales in value), drove the market with sales increasing by +0.2 per cent in value over the whole year. Despite a number of launches higher than in 2013, men’s fragrances have not been that successful (-0.6 per cent in value over the whole year). On the contrary, women’s fragrances have found their way to growth (+0.6 per cent), boosted by new launches and the success of flankers.

Women’s fragrances is the only category driven by innovation this year and brands’ strategies were more focused on the launch of flankers - such as Black Opium by YSL, La Petite Robe Noire Couture by Guerlain and Kenzo’s Kenzo Jeu d’Amour - rather than on the emergence of new concepts," added Lion.

Makeup resists

While the overall prestige skincare market decreased in 2014, makeup broadly maintained its sales with a limited decline (-0.1 per cent). The year also recorded a return to growth for complexion enhancers (+ 1 per cent) driven by foundations and concealers.

According to The NPD Group, other smaller segments also met really enthusiastic consumers, such as eyebrow products, gift boxes, facial brushes, lip-glosses and multifunctional products.

Towards consolidation in 2015

The French market is very mature and we cannot expect it to grow very strongly. However, with a lot of launches scheduled at the beginning of the year, we expect 2015 sales to be in line with the second half of 2014, but celebration periods such as Valentine’s Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Christmas) will be challenging and will give the mood for the year,” concluded Mathilde Lion.

Vincent Gallon with AFP/Relaxnews

© 2015 - Premium Beauty News -
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