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NPD Reports: Healthy Fragrance Gains Bode Well for Holiday Season

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Port Washington, NY, November 16, 2011 – According to beauty market research conducted by The NPD Group, Inc., a leading market research company, during the first 10 months of 2011, (January to October), total prestige fragrance dollar sales in U.S. department stores were $1.7 billion, a healthy double-digit gain of 10 percent, compared to the same time last year. Units grew six percent with close to 30 million units sold.

This robust increase in fragrance sales represents the first year-to-date January to October dollar gain over the past three years for the overall category, as well as the strongest performance for the month of October since 2009.

In addition, men’s fragrances experienced a better performance overall than women’s as that category grew 12 percent in dollars and women’s experienced a gain of nine percent for year-to-date, January to October 2011.

New launches helped add to the strong fragrance growth by generating four percent year-to-date 2011, compared to one year ago for the same time period. While a man’s brand topped the rankings of all new launch brands year-to-date, January to October 2011, it was women’s brands that dominated the top five launches.

Top Five Fragrance Launches – Jan. – Oct. 2011

1. Gucci Guilty Homme (Men)
2. Justin Bieber Someday (Women)
3. Daisy Eau So Fresh (Women)
4. Jimmy Choo (Women)
5. Sensuous Nude (Women)

Source: The NPD Group

“Heading into holiday, designers and celebrities alike have new and first-time scents slated for launch in the coming months.  From the looks of it, both fragrance categories will be shining well into fourth quarter,” Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group.

Another good sign for the fragrance category, after several years of consistently ranking as the number 10 item consumers plan to buy as a holiday, fragrances moved up two rank positions to become number eight, according to the NPD Holiday Survey of Consumer Intentions.

“With almost one fourth of annual prestige fragrance sales coming in the last two weeks before Christmas, this will prove to be a nail-biting, as well as a potentially exhilarating, holiday period. All indications point to a great year for fragrance: the consumer is showing increased interest and affinity, the lineup of scents is compelling, and the momentum heading into holiday is quite fragrant,” ended Grant.

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