Blush

Coty sales are a vision as consumer demand for cosmetics defies rising inflation

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 by Robinhood Snacks |

Swapping face masks for lip kits… Saturday nights are back. As more of us get glammed up for social soirees, multistep skin-care routines are taking a back seat. Beauty giant Coty — home to names like CoverGirl and Kylie Cosmetics — saw sales jump 15% last quarter. It’s expecting an even bigger profit bump this year thanks to the return of IRL events.

  • Like bees to honey: Coty's portfolio of luxe fragrance lines grew 20% as middle-seat-bound travelers splurged on name-brand sprays from Burberry and Gucci.
  • Clean face: Coty’s CEO said natural cosmetics (think: vegan, eco-friendly ingredients) were also a key growth driver, a trend that took off during the pandemic.

Welcome to the makeup renaissance… where cosmetic giants from Estée Lauder to L’Oréal post record sales as you ditch the couch for a night out. In the US, shoppers are using their extra $$ to splurge on TikTok-inspired beauty trends and eye-popping palettes. Last year, US “prestige beauty” sales (think: department-store brands like Clinique) rose 30% from the year before, topping pre-pandemic levels. Now:

  • In stores: Beauty retailers like Sephora and Ulta have seen foot traffic jump 25% compared to last year.
  • Online: Coty said its e-commerce sales rose double digits, even after hiking prices to keep up with higher packaging and ingredient costs.
THE TAKEAWAY

Don’t call it a cosmetics comeback… at least not yet. Coty’s still at the mercy of all the usual economic headwinds (supply backups and inflation). Plus, WFH and flexible work situations have sent weekly makeup usage down 28% compared to 2019. Coty’s premiumization (think: fancy-fied products it can charge extra for) has kept sales strong. But the stock hasn’t caught up: Coty shares are down 25% this year.