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UK fragrance market set to top £1 billion

By Simon Pitman , 04-Jun-2009
Last updated the 04-Jun-2009 at 12:45 GMT

The UK fragrance market continues to show signs of growth, despite the economic downturn, and is set to top the annual sales of £1bn (€1.55bn) this year.

The latest report from UK market researcher GfK highlights that after a tough period during the first quarter ending in December, average selling prices started to recover in the second quarter.

This meant that for the first six months of the year, fragrance sales hit a total of £768m, leaving a shortfall of just £232m if total yearly sales are to hit the £1bn mark.

Monthly sales in January, February and March came in at £55m, £51m and £52 respectively, which means that sales in the last six months of the year will only need to average £38.7m a month.

Is the pressure off for the summer?

Although 46 per cent of fragrance sales were made during the Christmas and holiday in the first quarter, GfK believes that the shortfall should be relatively easy to achieve, despite challenging economic and retail conditions.

The immediate effects of the economic downturn have led retailers to discount prices significantly in the first quarter and second quarters of the year, but GfK points out that average prices have rebounded slightly in the second quarter, compared to the first.

Average selling prices pick up

Average selling prices in the period from February to March were £26.12, a figure that the market researcher says is £1 - £2 higher than for the period October – January, indicating that the retail environment is showing timid signs of recovery.

Looking ahead to the next six months, the UK fragrance market traditionally goes quieter, as, on top of the holiday season in the first quarter, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day account for significant spikes during the second quarter.

However, Paul Mitchell, account director at Gfk believes that the industry still has a few trump cards to play during the second half.

“After the short term peaks of Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, fragrance suppliers are now launching summer scents.

“This continued market evolution means that we confidently expect the market to exceed the £1bn of sales in the twelve month period.”

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