By  on December 17, 2008

MILAN — The Italian beauty industry is already feeling the side effects of the global recession.

According to statistics from Unipro, the Italian Association of Beauty Firms, the Italian beauty industry eked out 0.3 percent rise in total volume to reach 8.3 billion euros, or $11.33 billion at current exchange, in 2008.

Italian beauty exports fared badly in 2008. With a 2.3 percent drop in turnover compared with 2007, export sales totaled 2.2 billion euros or $3 billion.

Other struggling channels included hair and beauty salons, which also registered slight declines in sales for 2008, while herbal stores and pharmacy channels continued to perform well. Perfumeries, once Italy’s strongest sales channel, is stagnant, and Unipro is forecasting the sector to remain sluggish for the first half of 2009.

Fabio Franchina, president of Unipro, said the current economic climate forced consumers to place more focus on what products they bought. “Consumers haven’t yet renounced buying beauty items but they are more attentive to the concept of value for money,” Franchina said.

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