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Nail Color and Care PDF Print E-mail
Written by MINTEL   
08 Aug 2006

Taking the Color Out of Nail Care Mintel Reports Home Nail Care Shrinking as Salons Grab Clients

Chicago (August 2, 2006)- Nails have never looked so good with trips to the salon increasing. But this move has been distressing news for the nail polish remover and fire engine red polish sitting at home. According to a recent report by Mintel, professional nail service sales reached $6.3 billion last year, up nearly $1 billion dollars from 2003. Feeling the negative effects of this growth are food, drug and mass merchandisers, as well as prestige retailers. Sales of nail color and care products at food, drug and mass merchandisers dropped by more than $20 million in the same period.

As of 2004, the U.S. was home to more than 54,000 nail salons. According to Mintel, this number is only expected to increase. This strong growth has driven fierce competition and price cuts among salons. At certain salons, manicures can be found for as low as $10. Compare these prices to a bottle of "professional look" nail polish retailing for $6, and the difficulties of nail care merchandisers become obvious.

"The benefits for a woman taking care of her nails at home are quickly diminishing," said Kat Fay, analyst for Mintel. "With a minimal price difference in many cases between salons and home, even a flagging economy is not stopping individuals from a manicure that was once considered an indulgence."

Further deterring purchases of nail color products trend toward natural-looking nails. Women have been following the fashion movement away from bold statements that colored nail polish and accessories provide. Mintel's exclusive research found that roughly one in ten women of all ages report keeping fingers and toes polished all the time. This natural, manageable look has left manufacturers scrambling to offer more neutral and easy to use products.

"The long, brightly colored nails from yesterday are being eclipsed by a much more natural look," said Fay. "Trends in the fashion industry are difficult to predict, but this less glamorous look could continue for several seasons. Manufacturers not keeping pace with products that enhance the natural beauty of nails may have difficulty finding an adequate audience in the near future."

Filed nails and neat cuticles are important to many women, even between manicure and pedicure appointments. This has saved sales of many items in the nail implement sector. Items such as emery boards, nail clippers and cuticle trimmers are less sensitive to fashion trends and will continue to find an audience, despite trends in the industry as a whole. From 2003 to 2005, sales of nail implements grew by only $5 million to $150 million. Still, the move to salons will affect this segment and sales are expected to remain flat.

About Mintel
Mintel is a worldwide leader of competitive media, product and consumer intelligence. For more than 35 years, Mintel has provided key insight into leading global trends. With offices in Chicago, London, Belfast and Sydney, Mintel’s innovative product line provides unique data that has a direct impact on client success. For more information on Mintel, please visit their Web site at


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