US-based department store retailer Debenhams has attributed a recent sales increase in its beauty sector to the so-called ‘lipstick effect’. The company said that its beauty departments have proved surprisingly resilient to the high-street downturn. Its share of the premium beauty market has increased from 26.5 percent to 28 percent as female shoppers have bought make-up and fragrances.
“The like-for-like figure includes sales made over the internet and its Danish chain, Magasin du Nord. Our online sales increased by 77 percent over the period compared to the year,” said Michael Sharp, Debenhams’ deputy chief executive.
“Customers are focused on value not price, and quality is more important than before. Two-thirds of our shoppers say that designers at Debenhams is the reason they shop there. They are also looking for promotions and for newness,” he added.
Debenhams is planning to go through a store modernization programme. Five stores were refurnished over the first half of the year, six outlets are currently underway, and 20 more will be modernized by next year. It has opened three new shops in locations such as, Bath and Wakefield.