By  on March 27, 2013

The overall prestige beauty category in U.S. department stores and online, which generated $799 million in sales in February, rose 3 percent for the month, according to the NPD Group. As compared with 2012, skin care, which represents 35 percent of prestige, beauty, grew 4 percent in sales but decreased in overall unit volume. Cosmetics, which accounts for 40 percent of the prestige beauty industry, grew 4 percent, and fragrance, representing 25 percent of the category, showed no change for the month.

“When you have strong [fragrance] launches at the end of the year, you see a lift in [sales in] the beginning of the next year,” said Karen Grant, NPD vice president and global industry analyst. “There wasn’t anything that was so ‘have to have it’ [in Q4], so we aren’t seeing that lift. Designer scents were good, but nothing blew it out of the water.” Grant also said fragrance gift-set sales are down from last year and that individual juices are actually outperforming value kits.

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