Health and Beauty Product Sales Soar


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Sep 16, 2023

Health and Beauty Product Sales Soar

By Zhane Isom | August 8, 2023 Now that the days of wearing face masks and using large amounts of hand sanitizer are over, consumers are getting back to their normal routines of using self-care

By Zhane Isom | August 8, 2023

Now that the days of wearing face masks and using large amounts of hand sanitizer are over, consumers are getting back to their normal routines of using self-care products and over-the-counter medication when needed. With demand rising for self-care products and medicine, retailers are finding new ways to rearrange their store shelves to meet these requests.

Revenue in the beauty and personal care market amounts to $92.79 billion in 2023. The market is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate of 2.52% from 2023 to 2028, Statista stated in its 2023 Markets Insight Report. However, the report also noted that personal care is the market’s largest segment, with a market value of $42.18 billion in 2023.

“Health and beauty is one category that is up for us this year. Both dollar and unit sales are up, with dollar sales up 16.92% and unit sales up 7.75%,” said Jennifer Whitman, category manager for Rotten Robbie, which operates 37 stores in northern California. “Most of our center of store categories, with a few exceptions, are down in unit sales this year, but health and beauty is booming in all of our locations.”

The Army and Air Force Exchange, which operates more than 580 Express stores, has also seen an increase in health and beauty product sales.

Kye Corn, Army and Air Force Exchange Service divisional merchandising manager, also mentioned that self-care products have been driving sales in stores.

“Sales are trending up year-to-date. The Exchange expects to see health and beauty sales increase in the high single digits for the year,” said Corn. “Self-care, immunity support and respiratory treatment products are among the top gainers year-to-date in 2023.”

Retailers are seeing smaller sample sizes specifically flying off shelves.

“Customers seem to be waiting until they need something before purchasing it. They’re not taking advantage of sales on larger sizes at a larger price point and stocking up,” said Whitman. “Trial-sized everything is up in units. Regular-sized items such as hand and body lotions, medications and deodorant are down in units.”

Whitman also noted that she anticipates this trend to continue partly due to the unstable economy and consumers’ reluctance to spend a lot of money.

Supply chain issues that began during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic have largely resolved, which means the biggest challenge for retailers now is making sure they have the right products and enough space on their shelves.

“Finding the space to expand is the real challenge,” said Whitman. “With an uncertain economy, it is more important than ever to take a hard look at your product assortment across center store and really hone it in. Whether more space for health and beauty care is available remains to be seen. For us, that will probably be a mid-2024 decision.”

Both Army and Air Force Exchange and Rotten Robbie are taking a second look at their health and beauty section to make changes to offset demands.

“The Exchange offers a broad assortment of products in all health and beauty categories. In addition to leading national brands, we also offer Exchange Select, a private-label brand that typically saves shoppers money,” said Corn. “The Exchange keeps its assortments fresh with new products while continuing to offer top-selling brands.”

Rotten Robbie offers most of its health and beauty products in trial sizes, including gastrointestinal, hand sanitizer and mouthwash. The c-store also provides an assortment of cough drops, which are top sellers, according to Whitman.

“Every year, we tweak our product assortment based on sales/trends,” she said. “We didn’t change much in 2023, but I’m considering eliminating or severely cutting back SKUs in vitamins/supplements for our 2024 planogram in the spring. They are just not selling at all. I will most likely expand cough drops and feminine hygiene.”

Nonetheless, retailers should continue to pay attention to trends and stock their shelves accordingly to see health and beauty sales rise.

“I’m anticipating that this upward trend in units for health and beauty products will continue through the year until the economy stabilizes and retailers can go back to stocking up on larger sizes,” said Whitman. “I believe that the category growth can be as much as 10% compared to last year.”