Year-over-year sales grew by 4% from October 2 through December 3, 2022

Port Washington, N.Y., December 15, 2022 – As a top performing prestige beauty category in 2021, including the all-important holiday season. Fragrance dollar sales grew by 4% from October 2 through December 3, 2022, compared to the same period in 2021, according to The NPD Group. The category also outperformed overall discretionary general merchandise spending during key weeks, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

During this nine-week holiday period, fragrance category sales growth was due to higher average prices combined with fewer discounts, according to the Retail Tracking Service from NPD. This price increase was mostly due to consumers shifting their spending to higher-priced products, such as higher fragrance concentrations and luxury brands. 

“Fragrance sales reached new heights following the pandemic, and it’s particularly impressive that the market is maintaining this elevated level rather than softening, which is typically the case after such an unprecedented performance,” said Larissa Jensen, beauty industry advisor at NPD. “Considering that most holiday shopping for fragrances occurs within the two weeks leading up to Christmas, and December alone accounts for over 50% of fourth quarter sales, much of the fragrance category’s sales success for 2022 is yet to be determined.” 

‘Brick’ outperforms ‘click’

During Black Friday week, fragrance sales at brick-and-mortar outlets outperformed the online channel, fueled by prices that are notably higher in stores, according to weekly retail tracking data from NPD. Overall, physical stores gained importance for the fragrance market during the holiday period thus far, accounting for 70% of sales in the nine weeks ending December 3, 2022, which is an increase of 1 point versus the same period last year. Specifically, specialty stores are gaining dollar share, with beauty-specialty stores fragrance sales growing at four-times the rate of department stores in October, according to NPD Checkout data.

“Consumers are returning to holiday gatherings this year and embracing the in-person store experience where they can test products and get advice from sales associates, which bodes well for fragrance sales and the beauty industry overall,” said Jensen. “As holiday crunch-time sets in, it’s important for brands to continue to work hard to capture consumer attention in these crucial final weeks of the season.” 

NPD’s Checkout service offers robust data for tracking and improving performance across all channels plus buyer analytics to help businesses keep current customers and win new ones. Over 150,000 actively engaged buyers, the largest omnichannel panel focused on general merchandise and foodservice, provide us with receipt-based information on their in-store and e-commerce purchases. With comprehensive data from the same consumers over time, Checkout illuminates trends in behavior including migration to shopping online by category and consumer demographics. Buyer analytics deliver insight into most valuable customers, brand loyalty, brand leakage / lift, brand launches, and more.

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