By  on September 25, 2009

The mass market has more new fragrances in the pipeline this year than in the past five years, yet buyers are still concerned over the health of the business.

Sales are anything but fragrant. For the 52-week period ended Aug. 9, women’s fragrance sales in drug, food and mass (including Wal-Mart) declined 5 percent from $699.7 million to $664.9 million. Men’s aftershave dollar sales dropped 3.6 percent during the same period, from $122 million to $117 million. Extremely hardhit was men’s fragrances, where the sales decrease almost hit 15 percent with volume sinking from $281 million last year to $239.9 million. Prestige also took a hit — a harbinger of further declines that could come to mass.

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