Daily Insights

Lipstick Leads the Way for Beauty UK

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | May 28, 2019

The beauty market in the U.K. is thriving. It’s the sixth largest market globally for beauty and personal care, worth around £10.2 billion in 2017. Here’s how lipstick is leading the way for the industry.

With sales rising in premium department stores and specialist retailers, it’s no surprise that several retailers, from Harvey Nichols to Sainsbury’s, are investing in interactive and engaging experiences for customers. Indeed, John Lewis recently upgraded its app, which facilitates 17% of beauty sales, to enable users to virtually try on lipstick shades from over 300 brands. As such, lipstick has been a product at the forefront of many brands’ minds, with skin care brands Origins and L’Occitane, and fast fashion retailer Zara, launching lipstick products over the past year. Following a growing trend, Origins and L’Occitane’s product ranges fall into the natural or vegan categories. With the sale of vegan beauty products in the U.K. rising 38%, the appetite for such products is set to remain for some time.

Retailers are also trying to capitalize on this trend, with Superdrug opening a dedicated pop-up store in London to highlight its extensive range of vegan beauty and personal care products. While Superdrug’s sales are buoyant, Boots has been losing ground according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty UK. As the U.K.’s largest beauty retailer, with six times the total revenue of Superdrug, Boots is already making a counter move. This includes revamping 24 of its largest beauty halls akin to Ulta Beauty and Sephora stores, and introducing twenty new brands online and in-store by September 2019, such as Becca Cosmetics, Fenty Beauty and Too Faced. Many of these new brands are top sellers on pure players Cult Beauty and Look Fantastic.

The gateway to trendy tactics has been made smoother thanks to lipstick. Slick brands across sectors looking to make the leap into a new consumer base should consider offering the product to entice the new wave of beauty seekers.