French perfumery and cosmetics market recovers after difficult years

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Market research company Skin care Colour cosmetics Marketing Cosmetics Perfume

Sales of perfume and cosmetic products in France have recovered, rising above pre-recession levels, although Christmas sales were disappointing, according to market research company NPD Group.

Total beauty sales for 2010, including colour cosmetics, perfumery and skin care, reached €2.84bn, up 3 per cent on 2009’s figures, the market research company claimed. However, 2009 was a tough year for the sector and total sales figures were down 1 per cent from 2008.

Colour cosmetics experienced the biggest growth during the year, with sales rising 5 per cent to reach €416m.

New launches in make-up drive sales

According to NPD’s senior vice president for beauty, Martine Ringwald, the performance colour cosmetics market is tied to new product launches.

“The make-up market is very dependent on new items. In 2010 the market was brought to life by some impressive product launches, notably lipsticks and nail varnishes,”​ she said.

Fragrance makes up the lion’s share of the beauty market in France and although sales were up 2 per cent on last year’s figures (reaching €1.85bn), the Christmas period was less impressive than hoped.

According to NPD, male and female fragrances both added to this growth; although in the men’s market sales were driven by larger flacons, unlike the smaller bottles that were particularly popular for women’s products.

Despite the sales increase, Ringwald highlighted the importance of the Christmas period for the sector that this year was ‘disappointing’.

Skin care led by anti-ageing

Sales in skin care were up 2 per cent on previous year figures, reaching €573m in sales, which represents a recovery for Ringwald.

“The skin care market has finally found a positive path this year, after many years in the red,”​ she said.

“This recovery can be attributed to the development of two parallel product ranges in the marketplace, medium priced products (around 50 euros for an anti-ageing product) and higher end products at price points of above 150 euros,”​ she added.

Sales in the sector were driven principally by anti-ageing products, and the performance for other product classes, including body care and sun care, suffered throughout the period with sales dropping 4 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.

For Ringwald, 2010 saw the market get back on its feet after a difficult 2009, although some sectors are still struggling in difficult economic times.

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