NPD Group: Prestige holiday beauty gift sets not just about fragrance

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — The prestige beauty gift set industry posted double-digit growth year-to-date and looks to be quite promising this holiday, especially makeup and skin care gift sets, according to market research company the NPD Group.

In the United States, overall gift set sales within prestige department stores year-to-date (January to October 2012), posted a 16% increase in dollar sales, versus the same time last year, according to NPD. The $871 million beauty gift set industry includes women’s and men’s fragrance gift sets, as well as skin care and makeup gift sets.

“Gift sets have often provided a somewhat stress-free purchase for the shopper to get in and out of the madness that surrounds shopping during the holiday season,” stated Karen Grant, VP and senior global industry analyst for the NPD Group. “And it’s not just fragrance anymore; sets are now among the hottest areas in makeup and skin care too.”

Fragrance sets continue to be the go-to gift sets for the holiday season and represent more than one-third (34%) of total prestige fragrance sales annually. While men’s and women’s fragrance gift sets both posted healthy growth, the category was strongly driven by men’s fragrance gift sets (up 14%), double the dollar growth of women’s (7%) during year-to-date 2012.

Heading into this holiday, makeup and skin care gift sets have already outpaced the overall gift set market in the first 10 months of the year. NPD consumer studies indicated there is some shift in the preference amongst ethnic and younger consumers (18 to 24 years old) in makeup toward shopping in stores that offer kits.

Consumers continue to take advantage of the gift set season, especially in skin care. “High-priced, anti-aging skin care gift sets are not the only option anymore; consumers today are looking to treat themselves with innovative forms of skin care more so than in recent years. This season, the skin care gift set arena is again being dominated by new sonic technology,” Grant stated.

“Today sets are not just about value. They are treasures that are hard to resist and worth the investment. Whatever the category, gift sets look quite promising this holiday season, offering one-stop shopping, all-in-one, for that special person — whether that is you or someone in your life — who wants it all: to look good, feel great and smell wonderful,” Grant added.

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