At first blush, the beauty industry could be thought to cater only to the glamorous, or perhaps the vain, or maybe just those in the spotlight. And it does - along with everyone else! The industry is built on the product and services that help us look our best - whatever that best may be.
It’s more diverse than you think and it’s certainly not just the makeup, hair color and perfume - it’s also the deodorant, toothpaste and even the ear hair clippers. It’s not just the salons - it’s the barber shops, waxing franchises, massage franchises and a whole lot more.
It is every product and service dedicated to helping us look - and smell - the way we want, or the way we believe we should for professional reasons. And our definition of beauty is malleable and ever changing - providing never ending opportunities for the industry to innovate.
Those days are gone, or nearly so. 82% of women now believe that social media drives these trends. It’s a constant flow of information and opinion from not just trendsetters or celebrities, but from friends and friends of friends and an entire universe of strangers.
As it turns out, it takes a lot of effort to keep us looking and smelling our best - an absolute army of products and services, in fact. Cosmetics, skin care, hair styling, hair coloring, hair removal, nail salons, tanning salons, massage parlours and luxury spas, shower and shaving product, perfumes, colognes...and a whole lot more.
And that’s where it starts to get interesting - within each of these segments are products for every different skin tone or texture, allergy, age, hair type or color, sex - even the time of day! It is a level of diversity and nuance that may go unnoticed to the casual observer. Some of us, in fact, are overwhelmed by all those rows of shaving cream.
The beauty industry is known to be resistant to economic downturns - even faring well during the Great Recession of 2008. Though consumers tend to be more price conscious during those times, they do not stop spending. So in today’s environment of rising per capita incomes the beauty business is booming.
In 2015 the industry generated $56.2 billion in the United States. Hair care is the largest segment with 86,000 locations. Skin care is a close second and growing fast, expected to have revenue of almost $11 billion by 2018. This growth is being driven in part by a generally increasing awareness of the importance of skin care, but also specifically due to an increase in the market for men.
|1) US Beauty Industry Segments||Market Share by Revenue|
|2) Hair care||24 %|
|3) Skin care||23.7 %|
|4) Cosmetics||14.6 %|
|5) Perfumes and colognes||9.5 %|
|6) Deodorants, antiperspirant,|
|7) Oral hygiene||5.6 %|
|8) Other||14.1 %|
There are a number of trends within the industry that are driving growth and revenue. Chief among them:
• Organic products & products produced in a sustainable (environmentally conscious) manner. Certainly a niche market for many years, but greater availability of information about the benefits - personal or global - are driving increased growth.
• Products and services focused on our aging population. Said plainly - we have a large retired/retiring population, and many of them have money to spend.
• Products and services focused on babies and young children. This is frequently related to the organic/sustainable movement above. In particular, millennial moms are willing to pay a premium to make sure their kids have the proper skin protection. Other franchises such as Cookie Cutters focus on providing an amazing experience for kids - turning a trip to get the tips trimmed into an adventure.
• Men’s product and services - this trend is still relatively new but is expected to drive growth for years to come. Places like the Boardroom Salon claim to provide the ultimate relaxation experience for men while the Hair Saloon and 18/8 Men’s Hair Salon are reinventing the barbershop. And it is just the tip of the iceberg. It is estimated that 75% of men are not using any sort of facial skin care, but interest continues to grow.
With strong and growing demand, employment estimates through the roof to meet that demand and a strong history of being a steady business even in turbulent times, the beauty industry continues to provide fantastic opportunities.