UK’s high street gloom lifted by beauty, according to new Mintel & CEW report

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

UK’s high street gloom lifted by beauty, according to new Mintel & CEW report
In a report that the authors suggest may be the most comprehensive mapping of the UK beauty industry in the recent times, cosmetics industry organisation CEW has teamed up with market research firm Mintel, to discover the size and scope of the industry.

Caroline Neville MBE, President of CEW commented, “By working with Mintel to deliver this report, we wanted to clearly demonstrate the success of the UK Beauty Industry, at home and around the world, and map in detail the demographics and scale of the sector.​”

Key findings include that UK beauty is outperforming other retail sectors, posting sales increases of 18% in premium department stores, and 9& in traditional specialist retailers. The report looks at the period of 2015-17.

Neville says: “Beauty appears to be more resilient than other sectors on the High Street. Bricks and mortar retailing is still crucial to beauty and the primary medium for consumers to interact and purchase brands​”.

Market overview: set to continue growth

The report found that in 2017 UK consumers spent £25.1bn on beauty, with this figure set to rise to £26.9bn by 2022. W

hile beauty lags behind British Fashion’s contribution of £32bn to the country’s GDP, due largely to higher unit retail prices, over one million people are employed in the UK Beauty Industry compared to the 890,000 working in the fashion sector.

While 1 in 3 UK consumers are shopping online for beauty, spending an estimated £1.1bn, the CEW report revealed sales in specialist retailers (such as Boots, Superdrug, The Body Shop) increased from £3.4bn to £3.7bn from 2015-2017.

Over the same period, beauty sales through department stores rose from £1.7bn to £2bn, as consumers sought out prestige beauty brands on the high street.

“The UK beauty and personal care industry has quickly taken advantage of advancements in digital technology and the consumer thirst for new products.

"Countless men and women have set up their own beauty businesses – exploiting cross border sales, increasingly penetrating new markets and we wanted to map that success,​” said Jane Henderson, Global President of Beauty and Personal Care, Mintel.

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