Flowers and candy might reign supreme as go-to Valentine’s Day gifts, but fragrance has carved a place for itself as a fan favorite.
The U.S. prestige fragrance market is on a growth streak, and all signs point towards positive sales performance heading into Valentine’s Day. In 2022, prestige fragrance sales in the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day reached nearly $270 million, growing by 29% versus 2021. The market continued this trajectory for the remainder of 2022, ending the year with sales up 11%, and the category is already boasting double-digit growth during the opening weeks of 2023. These results are a positive indicator that sales will be sweet for Valentine’s Day 2023.
On a more granular level, several trends will likely propel fragrance sales further. As we saw during the holiday season last year, consumers became more likely to buy fragrance gift sets. Aside from being a nice gift choice, sets typically offer a great value, making them an attractive option. Retailers are already in full swing when it comes to showcasing gift sets from top brands on their displays. The second trend is consumers gravitating more and more to higher concentrations, which are stronger and longer lasting. The higher price tags on these types of products will serve to amplify sales revenue growth.
When it comes to where gift givers will do their Valentine’s Day fragrance shopping, most of it will be done in stores. Physical retail gives shoppers the opportunity to experience a scent before they buy it, plus it offers the opportunity to get input from sales associates. Last year, brick-and-mortar stores accounted for 80% of fragrance sales revenue for Valentine’s Day, so we can say with confidence that this channel will continue to be most important in the weeks ahead. Department stores account for the largest share of sales, but consumers have been increasingly opting to purchase fragrances at beauty specialty retailers, according to data from NPD Checkout. As brands and retailers vie for consumers’ attention, it will be important to have in-demand products in stock, especially in the physical stores where they are shopping the most.
While the flowers dry up and the chocolate box quickly depletes, fragrance is a highly personal and mood-boosting gift that keeps on giving.