What you need to know

US retail sales of beauty products reached $46.2 billion in 2015 and are slated to grow to $51.8 billion by 2020, for a gain of 12%.This slow and steady growth will be fueled by a stronger economy, as well as by population gains among women (and men), and multicultural segments, particularly Hispanics. The category is so broad and diverse that the abundance of choice can cause consumers to stay in their routines, buying the same brands and products and shopping at the same places for beauty products repeatedly. The challenge for retailers and beauty manufacturers today is how to break this routine barrier. Technology plays a key role, as people are shopping differently today – more so online and via mobile devices while value continues to be a key driver. Tapping into the “fun” aspect of the beauty category and reinforcing that consumers deserve to treat themselves could play out as effective, breakthrough strategies.


The focus of this report is on the retail experience where shopping for items in the beauty category are concerned, based largely on the results of Mintel’s exclusive consumer research.

For the purposes of this report, Mintel defines the beauty category to include the following: color cosmetics, facial skincare, body care, haircare, nail care, women’s fragrances, men’s fragrances, hair accessories, sun protection products, and beauty appliances (hair and skin).

This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Beauty Retailing – US, January 2015, Shopping for Beauty Products – US, December 2013, Beauty Retailing – US, April 2011 and March 2010 as well as Beauty Online – US, December 2012. 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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