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UK Health & Beauty Sector Report | Insight & Data

May 2022

What's included in this report?

  • Market Share - top 10 Health & Beauty retailers
  • Market Size estimates (£m)
  • Health & Beauty Sales Growth by category
  • Total Spending by category (£m)
  • Online Health & Beauty Sales (y-o-y)
  • Forecasts for 2021 - 2025
  • Footfall by channel and region
  • Regional Weather data and more…

UK Health & Beauty Sector Report : May 2022

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Report Summary

Period covered: 03 January – 30 January 2021

Note: Reporting periods are either one month or two months behind the current month as standard.

January blues and Covid mutations

  • The national lockdown from 5 January and fears around Covid mutations took its toll on Health & Beauty sales in January, with sales plunging 15.9% year-on-year.
  • Health & Beauty sales have been in decline since March 2020 as restrictions disrupt beauty regimes and normal patterns of spending on health.
  • Importantly however, consumers are adapting quickly to changes in restrictions, and retailers that can adjust to their behaviour have benefited.
  • Pureplays have seen sales surge as consumers shift some spend online.

Market composition

  • The 2.3% decline in total January retail sales marks the steepest decline since May last year as England entered a third national lockdown.
  • Although January blues and fears around Covid-19 mutations choked spending, shopping online and the ability to offer click-and-collect delivery softened the impact of mandated physical store closures.
  • Online sales soared by 75.1% year-on-year in January, to account for a record 36.3% of total retail sales.

Permanent vs temporary shifts

  • Online spending over the past year saved many non-essential retailers facing store closures during lockdowns. But with some retailers increasing investment online, questions remain over whether shoppers will flock back to stores.
  • The verdict is split. Around a third of consumers believe their habits will not return to pre-Covid shopping, having overcome barriers of trust and setting up accounts online.
  • However, another third of consumers are hoping to return to previous pre-pandemic habits.
  • This is likely to see the rampant pace of online cool when restrictions ease.

Releasing savings in 2021

  • Fewer expenses under Covid-19 restrictions has led to a boost in disposable incomes, particularly for affluent households with higher job security.
  • But even average UK households have potentially accumulated £1,266 per month in extra savings. Propensity to spend will partially be driven by perceptions around the duration of the virus.
  • Retail Economics research shows almost two in five consumers (38%) think that their lives will return to normal by June 2021. However, 35% believe it will take more than a year for their lives to return to normal.


January declines less severe than during first lockdown

Source: Retail Economics

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Report Contents

UK Health & Beauty Sector Report Report
  • Executive Summary
  • Sector analysis
  • Health and Beauty – Retail Economics Index
  • Macro Factors
  • Household Spending
  • Consumers
  • Footfall
  • Labour market
  • Earnings
  • Costs, Prices and Margins
  • Weather Watch
  • Average Temperature
  • Average sunshine hours
  • Average Rainfall

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About our reports and subscriptions

Retail Economics publishes monthly Retail Sector Reports for the UK Food & Grocery sector giving you actionable insights for your business.

It provides in-depth analysis of the latest macroeconomic and consumer trends affecting the UK Health & Beauty sector including market size estimates for: Cosmetics, Toiletries, OTC medication, Fragrances, Hair Products, Paper Products, Babycare, Personal Grooming and more.

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