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Jungle Red - A Sign of The Times??


Posted At: 20 May 2009 13:39 PM
Related Categories: Retail Statistics


I don’t know about you but I am a tinsy bit (read: a lot) bored of hearing about the recession. I was however interested to read about the Lipstick index. I was even more intrigued to hear that most of my colleagues knew about it!


For those un-enlightened I shall enlighten…

It is not as well known as the FTSE and the Dow however the Lipstick Index is now considered as a reliable mirror of the economy. Leonard Lauder chairman of cosmetic company Estee Lauder realised that sales of their lipsticks rose as the economy crumbled.

The theory being when people are looking after the pennies they may not splash out on a new Porsche/Mansion/Louis Vuitton Handbag but can justify spending a few quid on a Lipstick to cheer themselves up.


So then I started thinking what else is beating the recession.


At the beginning of the year

1.          John Lewis reported a 39.5% increase in buttons and 34.4% increase in sewing machines

2.          Durex sales were up 10%

3.          Caravan sales increased 10-15% - the Caravan Club reported a 27% increase on advance bookings compared with last year

4.          Cadbury Dairy milk sales had soared by 11%


TNS have reported a 10% increase in the sale of home baking ingredients – herbs, spices, flour and sugar are all doing a roaring trade.


According to USATODAY the number of stateside homes with vegetable patches is predicted to increase 40% as the sales of basic salad seeds have jumped up 30%.

"People are much more focused on their homes and their immediate happiness and they're buying things that they can use themselves – seeds, fishing equipment. Lipstick and chocolate are small rewards that make you feel better."


When you think about it you don’t need the Durex sales as proof that staying in is the new going out, the majority of supermarkets are doing dine in for a £5er, £10er, etc.

It makes me quite happy to read that life still goes on during a recession – we might not have the same amount of ready money as in previous years but the money being spent is thoughtful and a lot less frivolous then the throw away times before the recession rocked up.

And I for one would be perfectly happy with good home cooked (read: open packet, sling in oven) food, a DVD and some new lippy!

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