Analyzing 2018 Beauty Sales: Gains Driven by Skin Care and Brick-and-Mortar

While the department store beauty business limped through a disappointing December, it has emerged from 2018 with a 6 percent increase for the full year — the same level as in 2017 — amid major beauty floor makeovers yet worries about an uncertain economy.

The stagnant growth comes as the NPD Group has issued its annual numbers — skin care is booming and makeup is not — and as Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s bet heavily on beauty with the launch of expansive and glittering new selling floors in their Manhattan flagships. The industry is also awaiting the opening of Neiman Marcus in Hudson Yards in March, and the coming of Nordstrom’s new women’s store on West 57th Street in the fall.

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