France: Sales of prestige lipsticks reach new records

About 3.2 million lipstick tubes were sold in France in the prestige retail channel from May 2016 and last April, reveals The NPD Group. With a double-digit increase for the second consecutive year, lipstick has become one of the favourite make-up items among French women. Furthermore, this product is increasingly purchased online.

Sales of prestige lipsticks grew by 14% in value this year in France, said The NPD Group.

Sales of prestige lipsticks grew by 14% in value this year in France, said The NPD Group.

According to The NPD Group, one of the world leaders in market research, sales of prestige lipsticks have increased by 31% in value over the last two years in France. Today, more than one in five makeup products sold in the prestige retail channel in France is a lipstick. A total of 3.2 million lipsticks were sold in this channel during the 12 months of the survey period (May 2016 – April 2017).

The main makeup driver

With a 22% market share, sales of lipsticks top the make-up category in volume. However, they rank second in value, just behind foundations, with a total turnover of 90.3 million euros annually. Lipstick sales have recorded a double-digit growth for the second year in a row, with a 14% increase in value this year, representing an additional gain of 3.2 million euros (year-to-date to April 2017 vs. 2016).

All indicators are green for lipsticks in France, with a strong contribution from new launches (39 products have been launched in less than one year compared with 28 last year) and also with a steady health of older products that remain on their double-digit growth path. The craze for lipsticks goes well beyond French borders: the segment is up 21% in Italy and Spain, and 38% in the United Kingdom,” said Mathilde Lion, Beauty Expert for Europe at The NPD Group.

Affordable and ideal on the move

According to analysts from The NPD Group, the success of lipsticks could be explained by their small size and small price. Small and packed in elegant and practical tubes, lipsticks are easily transportable, so women can take them anywhere and use them at any time of the day. Lipsticks are also the most affordable products sold by major prestige brands. “For an average price of 28 euros in French perfumeries and department stores, women of all ages gain access to prestigious brands,” says The NPD Group.

However, lipsticks are also an object of desire, which generates impulse purchases from consumers. Far from the basic usefulness of mascaras or foundations. For instance, according to The NPD Group, the choice of a lipstick is increasingly inspired by fashion and internet trends.

Social networks and online tutorials played a key role in the success of lipsticks. Trends are multiplying and constantly changing, from lips jewellery to contouring or colour overlays: the playground has no limits and the market adapts almost in real time, offering new textures, such as liquid mats for instance, wider and bolder colour palettes and more and more product benefits,” continues Mathilde Lion.

Explosion of online sales

While women continue to test colours and textures in stores (sales grew by +10% in beauty and department stores), The NPD Group also notes online lipstick sales are skyrocketing, with sales multiplied by 2.5 in one year. The online channel now accounts for 7% of sales, thanks to the attractiveness of the channel for young consumers and the power of recommendation of social media.

Brands are also strong sales driver. Chanel, Christian Dior, Guerlain, Lancôme and Yves Saint Laurent, the five top prestige lipstick brands (in alphabetical order), share more than three-quarters of the market value.