Nürnberg, Germany, 11 February 2021 – Germany prestige beauty market generated 2,7 billion € in sales during 2020 and reported a 16% decline compared to 2019, according to The NPD Group. Within the five largest European countries for prestige beauty sales tracked by The NPD Group, Germany is the only country with an overall decline in sales below 20%, mainly driven by the shorter lockdown periods for both first and second lockdown, as well as the industry’s online channel maturity.

In terms of categories, fragrances decreased by 14%, skincare by 11%. Makeup dropped by 27%. Online sales saw a double-digit increase of 25% but could not compensate the declines from brick-and-mortar stores. The e-commerce channel registered almost one quarter of all prestige beauty sales in 2020 compared to 16% in 2019.

The 1,4 billion € fragrances category still represents the largest share of beauty sales, despite the negative impact of both retail lockdowns in Germany happening during the key consumption periods of Easter and Christmas. Also, during Mother’s Day, the category suffered as it took place three weeks after the spring lockdown. Juices showed double-digit decline but overall showed a better performance in the market compared to gift sets and ancillaries. New concepts and promotions supported the recovery of the category in the second half of 2020.

Skincare, the second largest category in Germany’s beauty market, showed the best resilience among the three main categories. A key factor contributing to skincare’s annual performance is the higher percentage of online sales even before the retail lockdown, and the trend towards more beauty “me-time” at home. E-commerce contributed through double-digit growth, now reaching 27 percent of the category sales. In total, the category brought in 0,7 billion € this year. Looking at the sub-segments, face and body lotion, and oil as well as exfoliators showed a better trend compared to supplements and sun care.

Makeup reported the biggest impact from the pandemic. Reduced social life during and after lockdown, as well as mandatory mask wearing contributed to the decline. This was noteworthy for the sales of lip products, which declined by 40%. Eye products such as mascara and eyebrow resisted better than the rest of the category. Within face products, blushes and highlighters had a difficult year, while tinted moisturizer and setting sprays were less affected.

“The disruption of the retail market during the first and second lockdown, and the changed in-store experience accelerated the e-commerce business for beauty”, said Samantha Grand, Germany Beauty Executive Director at The NPD Group. “Four out of five products online are sold on promotion. In contrast, in brick and mortar channel, less than 50% of the products sold are promoted. Beauty is an experiential category, and consumers enjoy testing and trying the products in-store where they do not only focus on the price tag. The industry is more challenged than ever to protect the category value in 2021 through reinvention of the beauty in-store experience.”

Source: The NPD Group / Germany Beauty Total Market, January-December 2020