This year has been a rough one for the men’s market.
This story first appeared in the December 11, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In the prestige market, both the fragrance and skin care categories in U.S. department stores took a hit during the second and third quarters, according to market research firm The NPD Group Inc.
“We saw declines across almost every area of the men’s market,” says Karen Grant, vice president of beauty and global industry analyst with NPD, discussing the period from April to September. “The men’s market has been somewhat lackluster since last year. The top brands were not really doing a lot of launches, resulting in declines in traffic and awareness.”
While it’s a “relatively quiet category at this juncture,” some brands have made some noise, she adds, including Kiehl’s and Clarins. “It’s a challenging time right now for everything, but we’re hoping the fourth quarter will be somewhat positive.”
From April to September, sales of the men’s fragrance category declined 13 percent to $347.2 million, compared with the same period last year. Dollar volume generated by new launches during the third quarter was down 30 percent compared with the third quarter of 2008, when fragrances such as The One for Men from Dolce & Gabbana were introduced.
There were fewer men’s fragrance launches from the “really big” players this year, according to Grant. Top launches included scents from Nautica and John Varvatos, which were “a bit more niche in their appeal.”
Meanwhile, sales of the overall men’s skin care market were off by 8 percent in the second and third quarters to $33 million. “The skin care category has been challenged,” notes Grant. Face care sales were down 6 percent in the six months to $25.9 million. Facial moisturizers were off by 5 percent to $8.3 million and shave products were down 7 percent to $7.5 million. Body care was down 5 percent in the six months to $1.9 million and hair care dropped 30 percent to $386,000. Sales of sets and kits declined 17 percent to $1.7 million.
In the mass market, the picture is expected to be bleak, as well. As 2009 draws to a close, Euromonitor International is expecting the men’s shaving category to end the year on a down note. The firm projects that men’s shaving as a whole will be off 0.8 percent in 2009 to $2.34 billion, compared with $2.35 billion in 2008. Sales of razors and blades are expected to dip 0.9 percent to $1.91 billion, from $1.93 billion.
However, one bright spot in men’s shaving is post-shave products. Sales are expected to reach $86.6 million, up 0.6 percent from $86.1 million last year.
Taking the biggest hit, Euromonitor projects, will be men’s mass market fragrances, which are expected to see a decline of 6.4 percent and come in at $387.2 million.
The strongest category in the mass market will be the men’s toiletries market, which includes bath and shower products, deodorants and hair and skin care, according to Euromonitor.
Men’s toiletries are expected to be up across the board, tallying overall sales of $2.46 billion, a 3.1 percent increase from $2.39 billion in 2008. Bath and shower items are expected to ring up sales of $281.6 million, from $267.9 million last year. Sales of the largest toiletries category, deodorants, are projected to rise 2 percent to $1.25 billion, from $1.22 billion, and hair care is projected to ring up sales of $699.8 million, up 3.3 percent from $677.7 million.
The hottest toiletries category, men’s skin care, is expected to rise 6.4 percent to $233.3 million from $219.2 million last year. Despite the overall bad news, those numbers are giving marketers hope. For a complete overview, turn to “Meeting of the Minds,” in which the industry’s leading manufacturers discourse on moving the needle in the men’s market.