Three market research companies, - NPD, IRI and IMS - have joined forces to launch a major twice yearly study for the French beauty market, currently the fourth largest in the world.
The study will combine the market research capabilities of the three companies, concentrating efforts on the three main areas: skin care, make-up and fragrance.
The research will focus on the primary retail distribution areas for these categories, including supermarkets, pharmacies, cosmetic and fragrance outlets and department stores.
The aim of the study is to create a better understanding of the individual categories in the French beauty market, closely tracking the evolution of each and the market in general, as well as following the progress of the major players in each of the categories.
Currently the research teams estimate that the market for these three categories is valued at €5.4bn, a figure that represented growth of 3.6 per cent in 2006.
Growth in the French market is well above the EU-wide average, driven by particular interest in natural and organic products - a trend that has been taken up a little later than consumers in other leading European markets.
The researchers also revealed that the largest retail distribution category is currently cosmetic and fragrance stores such as Sephora, which represents 51.1 per cent, a figure that grew by 3.8 per cent during 2006.
The second largest source of retail sales is department stores, which currently represent 27.8 per cent of sales and grew by a relatively small 1.6 per cent in 2006.
The largest growth in retail sales came from pharmacy outlets, which, although only representing 16 per cent of total sales in 2006, grew by 6.5 per cent.
The report, La Conjecture Beauté Multi-Circuits (Multi-channel Beauty Retail Trends), is to be published every six months, beginning this October, with the next report to follow in June 2008.