Fragrance Sales Rise for Holiday, NPD Says

Posted on December 6, 2012 @ 08:58 am

NPD Group released its annual holiday retail study, and it reveals that fragrance is a top gift on consumers' shopping lists. Fragrance has risen in rank over last year, from being number eight on the list of consumer preferences, to the sixth spot this year. Prior to last year, fragrance has consistently stayed in the number ten spot.

“Fragrance is having a second banner year,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group. “This holiday will not be just about the latest gadget or smart phone. Consumers are seeing fragrance as a sweet treat for themselves or someone special.”

Fourteen percent of consumers reported plans to purchase fragrance as a holiday gift, while 17% of consumers reported that they actually did purchase fragrance as a holiday gift.“Shoppers are loving the fragrance offerings this year: from classics to new, from women’s to men’s, from woody notes to sweet florals, from premium niche offerings to under one ounce roller-balls, there is something to delight everyone. Add into the mix the increase in unit activity and you will see it’s not just more expensive products that are selling, rather, there are more products selling and that is an encouraging sign heading into the holidays,” said Grant.

According to NPD, during the first 10 months of 2012 (January to October), total prestige fragrance dollar sales in U.S. department stores were nearly $1.8 billion, up seven percent, compared to the same time last year. Units grew 2 percent with over 27 million units sold.

In addition, men’s fragrances overall fared a little better than women’s as that category grew seven percent in dollars and women’s grew six percent for year-to-date, January to October 2012. The real boost in sales came from men’s prestige fragrance gift set sales, which doubled in growth, fourteen percent vs. seven percent growth of women’s fragrance gift set sales for the same time period.