NPD Group: Online, home shopping sales of prestige fragrance up 10%

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — The NPD Group announced on Monday that direct-to-consumer sales of U.S. prestige fragrance experienced double-digit growth in the 12 months ended February 2014.

During the 12-month period, direct-to-consumer sales of U.S. prestige fragrance grew 10% to $285 million. While a fraction of the $3 billion U.S. prestige fragrance market, the performance of products sold on department store web sites, in online-only beauty retailers, and through TV/home shopping retailers appears to be a bright spot for the industry, which saw 2% declines during the same time period.

“The desire to ‘try on’ a scent before committing isn’t about to go away, but there is real appeal for consumers in the immediacy of replenishing the supply of their favorite scents from the comfort of wherever they are,” stated Karen Grant, NPD’s VP and global industry analyst.

Gift sets led the pack, representing 46% of direct-to-consumer prestige fragrance sales in the United States, ahead of standalone juices, which accounted for 44% of sales. Gift set sales grew 9% compared with the 12 months ended February 2013.

Men’s fragrances represent a smaller portion of the sales than women’s in both prestige department stores and direct-to-consumer channels. However in both cases, men’s fragrances outperformed the women’s and the overall market in the 12 months ended February 2014. NPD’s BeautyTrends Direct showed a 19% increase in dollar sales of men’s prestige fragrances during this time.

According to NPD, fragrances sold in sizes of 5 ounces or larger grew 26% during this 12-month period versus 12% sales growth in prestige department stores.

“Offering consumers incentives and options that link the in-store experience with the convenience of purchasing direct is the best of both worlds. It is this type of seamless retailing that is providing manufacturers and retailers a world of new opportunities,” added Grant.


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