Dec 18, 2020
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Supermarket make-up and hairstyling product sales plunge in lockdown year

Dec 18, 2020

It’s been a grim year for many product sectors but it seems beauty has seen a massive fall and the sector’s hardest hit category is make-up, in UK supermarkets at least.


As consumers worked from home and had no social occasions to go to for much of the year, make-up took a back seat. The latest annual Top Products Survey from The Grocer magazine shows it as a major loser category.

That’s particularly interesting because, while many people don’t usually buy their make-up in supermarkets, with those often being the only easily accessible stores that were open, we’d have expected consumer rmake-up spend to have relocated to that channel and to have possibly risen.

But while barbecue foods, alcohol (especially lager), cigarettes and other categories have boomed, make-up has sat on the shelf.

Hair styling products also saw a downturn for the same reasons as make-up, as did deodorant and — rather worryingly — toothbrushes. Between them, sales fell by £300 million. But make-up alone dropped by £183 million, or 22%. 

The figures were particularly bad news for brands that source a lot of their sales from supermarkets and The Grocer said that Rimmel “shifted 9.2 million fewer lipsticks, mascaras and the like through grocery this year. That’s a decline in volumes of nearly a quarter”. 

And all the top 10 hair styling brands suffered double-digit value declines too as the sector’s sales fell by £37.5 million. The magazine didn’t give a figure, but said that shampoo sales fell as well.   

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