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Prestige Beauty in Germany Gets Boost From E-Commerce

Germany’s prestige beauty industry showed declines smaller than Italy, France, Spain and the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.

Of the five largest prestige beauty markets in Europe, Germany has shown the most resilience in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the NPD Group, sales declined 65 percent in Germany over the brick-and-mortar closure period (March 16 to April 19), and 23 percent overall from January to May of 2020. By contrast, France, Spain and Italy declined 88 percent, 87 percent, and 86 percent, respectively, during their closure periods.

Germany had the shortest store closure period of the five countries, and the drugstore channel in the country remained open. The NPD Group attributes the industry’s bounce-back to factors like the e-commerce channel, which took on over 60 percent of the sales and doubled its growth rate during closures, despite growing only 14 percent as of Week 11 (March 15).

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Prior to the pandemic, German Selective Beauty hadn’t demonstrated growth or decline from 2019, the group said. Pre-pandemic, skin care and makeup were on the downward slope, while categories like fragrance and hair care indicated growth. During the pandemic, skin care outperformed beauty overall, which NPD attributes to consumers’ propensities to at-home, DIY beauty and spa treatments.

In the weeks following Germany’s reopening, e-commerce channel is continuing to take a larger role in sales than before the pandemic, said the NPD Group’s director of beauty prestige Germany, Samantha Grand, in a statement. “The main question is how much of the brick-and-mortar decline will be compensated by the online dynamism, and how resilient could the prestige beauty industry be towards the new prioritization of consumer spend,” she said. “The beauty industry will have to engage with consumers in more creative ways, involve new technologies, and find ways to make the shopping experience appealing and enjoyable during these changing times.”

For more from WWD, please see:

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