Beauty Products Promise to Be a Bright Spot for Retailers This Holiday Season

A new study from NPD Group suggests that more people are going to buy beauty products this year than last year.
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Eliza Brooke
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A new study from NPD Group suggests that more people are going to buy beauty products this year than last year.
Within the beauty category, color cosmetics are doing particularly well. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Within the beauty category, color cosmetics are doing particularly well. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

As consumers begin plotting their shopping strategies for the holiday season ahead, beauty is looking to be a bright spot. According to research from NPD Group published Monday, more people say they intend to buy beauty products this season than did last year — and while perfumes are at the top of their lists, the growth that the makeup category has shown this fall isn't showing any signs of letting up, either.

The outlook for beauty brands and beauty-focused retailers is particularly sunny given how shaky things are looking for luxury brands and department stores like Nordstrom and Macy's right now. (Nordstrom did say that the one exception to slowing sales last quarter was beauty.) Anecdotally, J.C. Penney also reported last week that its Sephora section was proving very effective at luring customers — and particularly millennials — into its stores, and 25 percent of those shoppers went on to buy something from another department.

What else does NPD expect to win big? Skincare's "small" categories, like masks, oils and lip treatments. If you were planning to buy your sister a mud mask this season, you are not alone.