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Prestige Beauty Recovery Lags in Germany’s Largest Cities

In the third quarter, prestige beauty sales declined 23 percent in the country’s 10 biggest cities, versus an 11 percent dip elsewhere.

PARIS — Germany’s prestige beauty sales were down 14 percent overall in the third quarter of 2020 versus the same prior-year period, with its 10 largest cities registering a slower recovery than elsewhere in the country, according to The NPD Group.

Sales in the July-September period declined 23 percent in those cities, whereas the decrease in the rest of Germany was 11 percent.

Germany — Europe’s largest economy — is a key indicator in all sectors of business. Its three largest cities, Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, generate practically two-thirds of the country’s prestige beauty sales in value.

NPD said Berlin and Hamburg, with sales dips of 19 percent and 16 percent, respectively, registered a faster recovery than Munich, with a sales drop of 37 percent, due partially to the cancellation of Oktoberfest, an international tourist draw.

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“After the brick-and-mortar lockdown in spring this year, we saw that this channel is critical for the industry’s recovery,” said Samantha Grand, Germany beauty executive director at The NPD Group. “In light of the uncertainty over the risk for additional regional restrictions in the coming months due to COVID-19, reassessing a tailored strategy per city can be an even more important key factor to success.”

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NPD noted a difference in product category mix in Germany’s various large cities, although fragrance remained the most popular segment in each and recorded a 17 percent decline.

Essen and Dortmund posted just single-digit decreases for men’s and women’s scents, smaller than in the larger cities of Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf. Outside the 10 biggest cities, prestige fragrance sales decreased 5 percent or less.

Düsseldorf is the German city with the highest weight of skin-care products in its category mix, with almost one-third of its sales coming from that segment. Düsseldorf has almost the same population as Essen, but almost four times higher skin-care sales.

Germany’s top 10 cities saw makeup sales decline by 35 percent, versus a drop of 24 percent or less in the rest of the country.

For more on Germany’s beauty industry, see:

Douglas Returns to Growth in June

Prestige Beauty in Germany Gets Boost From E-Commerce