UK prestige beauty market grows as tourists cash in on weak pound

The UK prestige beauty market is showing no signs of slowing down, despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, falling consumer spend and the generally gloomy retail market.


Chanel

According to a report from NPD Group, the UK prestige beauty market experienced a 4% increase in sales in 2017 and is now worth £3 billion. High-end fragrances, make-up and skincare remained strong, while the weak pound made designer products more affordable to international buyers.

“The growth we have seen in the UK prestige beauty market is impressive, given the uncertainty with Brexit and the weak pound,” comments Helen Duxbury, Senior Account Manager, NPD UK Beauty.

“British customers continue to purchase prestige beauty with great passion, and we also believe that an increase in global shoppers is a contributing factor to this growth, especially in super premium skincare and fragrance.”

The prestige fragrance market was valued at £1 billion last year, benefiting from 3% growth fuelled by both classic and new fragrance launches. Skincare grew 6% as natural and vegan brands continue to gain momentum, while make-up slowed from 10% growth in 2016 to 6% last year.

Within the make-up sector, foundation and lip colour remain the star performing categories reporting healthy growth throughout the year, said NPD, which said the market is experiencing a ‘definite boom’.

“Make-up and super premium skincare are a real attraction for overseas visitors as they include many designer brands. Retailers confirm they have seen an increase in global shoppers in store,” says Duxbury.

But British shoppers continue to be drawn to luxury beauty products. “Whilst the weak pound confirms our thoughts that the global shopper is boosting the prestige beauty market, UK shoppers continue their love affair with prestige beauty in all categories,” concludes Duxbury.

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