What is the current state of the UK beauty market? Key findings

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

What is the current state of the UK beauty market? Key findings
Here, we reveal the key findings from a recent comprehensive mapping of the scale and scope of the beauty industry in the UK, carried out by industry organisation CEW and research firm Mintel.

Find our overview of the findings here​.

Key findings for UK beauty

The UK is the world’s sixth-largest market for beauty and personal care, worth around £10.2bn in 2017, according to the new report on the market.

Per capita spend on beauty and personal care products in the UK was £155 in 2017, the fifth highest in the world.

The beauty industry is split into four market categories; Beauty Products and Personal Care Products, which each command a 20% share, Spa, Salon and In-store Treatment Services, which commands a 30% share of total spend and Hairdressing and Barbershop Services, which also commands a 30% share.

Consumer expenditure on spa, salon and in-store beauty treatments is estimated to reach £7.57bn in 2017.

Consumer spending: trends and premium

The total value of the UK Fragrance market was £1.8bn in 2017, while £1.98bn was the total value of the UK Colour Cosmetics market for that year.

Airports are key retail hubs: 24% of UK consumers, who visited an airport in the last year, bought products while they were there, spending £650m on Tax Free Beauty.

Consumer expenditure on in-salon hair services increased by 3% in 2017, to £7.4bn, and consumer expenditure on spa, salon and in-store beauty treatments reached £7.57bn in 2017.

Employment, business and brands

Almost 1,700 companies operated in the UK beauty and personal care market from 2015-17, launching around 40,000 unique products, under 1,800 different brands.

In April-June 2017, total employment in ‘Beauticians and related occupations’ saw a massive 40% increase from the same period in 2016. This is partly driven by the technology allowing at home beauty treatments and a growth in spa and hair salons.

The UK has over 50,000 locations offering beauty services; 35,704 hair salons, 2,967 specialist barbershops, 302 specialist hair salons, 13,107 beauty salons and 1,512 specialist nail bars/technicians.

Following the Brexit vote, sales of beauty and personal care products continue to rise. CEW suggests this offers further evidence of ‘The Lipstick Effect’ – during periods of economic downturn, consumers tend to purchase more ‘little luxuries’, such as lipstick, treatments and cosmetics.

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