China’s Prestige Beauty E-commerce Sales Surge 11 Percent in Q1 2022

Prestige beauty sales soared in China in the first quarter of 2022. 

According to data from The NPD Group, prestige beauty e-commerce sales in China reached $2.7 billion, up 11 percent from the same period last year.  

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Driven by strong Chinese New Year Sales, the hair, fragrance, makeup and skin care categories increased by 43 percent, 18 percent, 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively, while in March alone, hair category sales jumped by 33 percent

March also saw growth within sun care in particular, but with restrictions heightening in China, declines are already underway. 

While the makeup and fragrance categories did see overall increases during the first quarter, they still experienced respective declines of 6 and 4 percent in March, versus March 2021. Prestige beauty sales at large decreased by 1 percent for the month. 

“China could continue to see prestige makeup sales decline in April and May due to the current lockdowns in some major cities, including Shanghai, the country’s leading manufacturing center,” said Stanley Kee, senior vice president and managing director of APAC and The NPD Group.

With COVID-19 cases running rampant in China and much of the country’s population under lockdown, many stakeholders are worried about the situation’s potential impact on the global economy. 

Earlier in May, The Estée Lauder Cos. saw its stock drop by as much as 12.3 percent on May 3 following a quarter of strong growth, prompting the company to lower sales projections over concerns about China. 

Nevertheless, Lauder president and chief executive officer Fabrizio Freda expressed confidence that the manufacturer’s sales in China will recover once COVID-19 cases in the region begin to subside. 

Similarly, Kee predicts beauty sales will abound come June, when China’s 618 Shopping Festival takes place, anticipating the government will release “new, favorable policies to boost consumption.”


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