What you need to know

The beauty retail industry faces particular challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. As in-store capabilities remain limited and consumers’ lifestyles have shifted, the industry is expected to drop more than 7% in sales for 2020. Beauty brands and retailers will continue to look for ways to engage shoppers and allow them to browse and discover products digitally, in lieu of in person. Certain segments will thrive, such as skincare as consumers consider it an essential part of wellness routines; others, like color cosmetics and fragrances, face declines with consumers having fewer needs for these items due to changes in lifestyles and more time at home. As declines are expected to continue through 2021, affordability will continue to be a driving factor moving forward. For retailers, this signals potential threats to prestige brands in favor of the numerous affordable mainstream and DTC brands available.

Key issues covered in this Report

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and beauty retailing

  • The recession’s impact on consumer spending and the beauty landscape

  • The shift in consumers’ beauty routines and priorities

  • How retailers are shifting the shopping experience from in-store to online


For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

cosmetics – color cosmetics and nail care products; haircare – shampoo, conditioner and hairstyling products; home hair color; skincare – lotions; deodorants/antiperspirants; soap, bath, shower products; sun block, sunless tanners, suntan oils; facial skincare and anti-aging products; other – fragrances; shaving/hair removal products; hair, bath/shower, and makeup accessories. Medicated skincare and foot care are not included in this Report, but rather are covered in Mintel’s specific Reports on these topics.

This Report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Beauty Retailing – US, October 2019, September 2018, 2017 and Beauty and the Online Landscape – US, December 2019. For more detailed information about any of the aforementioned beauty categories, please refer to specific Report titles in the Beauty and Personal Care library.

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