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While the beauty market had previously been growing at a faster rate than the personal care market, seeing stable growth in 2018, consumer spending on beauty has also now fallen into decline, dropping by 1.4% in 2019. A tendency by consumers to seek out the most competitively priced products and to bulk buy, as well as heavy discounting in the sector, has dented the size of the beauty and personal care market. 

Although retail sales at health and beauty specialists have continued to rise in 2019, growth in the sector has slowed as the market has become more saturated. A number of the leading mature health and beauty specialists, including Boots and Superdrug, have struggled to gain market share in the UK as they face intense competition from smaller players and non-specialist retailers including supermarkets, department stores and the online channel. 

The online beauty and personal care market has seen strong sales and the channel now accounts for 22% of all consumer spending on BPC. This has been driven by Generation Z and Millennials increasingly opting to purchase products online, as well as new technology innovations helped by developments in AR and AI that have made it easier for consumers to try on makeup virtually.

“As the value of the beauty and personal care sector has fallen into decline, with even beauty seeing negative growth in 2019, retailers need to ensure that they focus on the growth opportunities presented by two key demographics - Gen Z and older women aged 55+. Teens are increasingly being driven to experiment with new beauty styles that have emerged as cultures of an online-first approach. Meanwhile overlooked mature cusomters are keen to try new beauty and grooming trends, but they lack confidence in their application skills. There is scope for retailers and brands to do more to target both of these groups with new products and brand communications." Tamara Sender Ceron, Senior Retail Analyst, Mintel

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Mintel commissioned consumer research for this Report to assess the beauty and personal care retail market. Research was carried out by Lightspeed among 2,000 internet users. The Report examines the UK beauty and personal care retailing market for men and women aged 16 and over. 

It covers: 

Beauty – including makeup and colour cosmetics, nail care, fragrances and skincare. 

Personal care – including haircare, body care, hair removal and everyday toiletries such as oral hygiene, bathing and deodorants. 

BPC accessories and electricals – including hair and makeup brushes, hairstyling tools, beauty and dental tools. 

Health and wellbeing – including vitamins and supplements, medicines and treatments. 

The consumer research focuses on beauty and personal care purchases, including beauty accessories and electrical appliances. Health and wellbeing are not included in the consumer research but are discussed in other sections. 

The beauty and personal care market size includes: body, hand and footcare; colour cosmetics including nail colour; facial skincare; men’s and women’s fragrances; deodorants; depilatory products; hair colourants; hairstyling agents; oral hygiene; shampoos and conditioners; shaving products; soap, bath and shower products; and suncare. 

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