NPD: 2009 a year of decline for prestige beauty sales

NEW YORK The U.S. prestige beauty industry experienced a 6% decline in dollar sales during 2009, according to recent data from market research company the NPD Group.

Prestige fragrance posted the biggest declines, followed by prestige makeup, and prestige skin care.

"Make no mistake, 2009 was a most challenging and difficult year for the prestige beauty industry," stated Karen Grant, VP and senior global industry analyst for The NPD Group. "Yet, particularly as we entered fourth quarter, there was evidence of some recovery as well as areas of growth across categories, at both ends of the price spectrum. Those could be found in the positive sales of products like smaller size women's fragrances, innovations in foundation and concealer products, anti-aging and specialized basic skin care, and hair care."

NPD noted that the food/drug/mass channel (excluding Wal-Mart) was flat in 2009. Similar to the prestige beauty market, fragrance sales declined.

Makeup sales in the mass channel experienced growth and skin care sales were flat overall; however, excluding hair care, sales of skin care products at mass actually experienced growth in line with makeup.