By category, the group says small home appliances, prestige beauty, and technology lead the first week of December. But for the season so far, beauty is the winner.

“While the first week of November started out slow, with a 3 percent gain for beauty, week 2 experienced a 15 percent increase and weeks 3 and 4 have seen beauty sales really take off, posting the strongest gains of all the industries NPD is tracking this holiday,” said Larissa Jensen, NPD executive director and beauty industry analyst, in a new blog post.

The top performing product categories this season through Dec. 2, according to NPD: home automation (security and monitoring products and services), stereo headphones, kitchen appliance (driven by “cookers”), LCD TVs and sport leisure footwear.

But NPD’s chief industry advisor Marshal Cohen cautions that big price discounts are taking a bite out of the total spending numbers.

“Leading segments are struggling to make up for aggressive promotions that counteract positive product movement in others,” Cohen said.

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