December 1, 2020

A Playbook for Reviving the Mass Market Fragrance Business

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Total Store Expo kicks off next week in San Diego. More than 60 brands representing cosmetics and fragrances are slated to exhibit to the 275-plus mass market retail companies signed up. Total Store Expo, held from Aug.19-22 at the San Diego Convention Center, attracts retailers and brands responsible for all aspects of mass market retailing, but has a strong presence in beauty.
Among the issues on retailers’ minds will be how to reinvigorate the mass fragrance business, especially at a juncture where other beauty categories are clocking healthy gains.
Surveying IRI data, the mass market fragrance business hasn’t cracked into the black in a decade. However, the prestige scent scene is reawakening, posting 1 percent gains for the second quarter of the year, according to NPD. In the last two years, up-and-coming niche entries added more than $250 million to the prestige fragrance business. Mass retailers want to reclaim their share of a business they once dominated.
A laundry list of issues stymies sales at mass including the dearth of mass launches, the decline of celebrity scents, a lack of testers, heavy holiday promotions and the fact many fragrances are locked under glass. “The days of

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