The week preceding Easter in the Catholic calendar, has additional significance in Spanish cultures. Known as Semana Santa, the Holy Week is one of the most popular weeks on the Mexican holiday calendar. It is so popular that many Mexican stores, schools, and businesses close, not only for religious reflection, but also to fiesta – often including some shopping.
As many Mexican consumers take part in this common vacation period, some choose to cross the border into the United States, particularly those who live in the northern part of the country. Considering the propensity to shop while vacationing, Semana Santa becomes an important time for some U.S. retailers near the Mexican border. The spikes in sales of prestige beauty products driven by the Semana Santa celebration period in several just-over-the-border U.S. shopping areas spells opportunity for many retailers, and prestige beauty counters in the region.
Focusing in on seasonality trends at The Shops at La Cantera, an upscale shopping center in San Antonio, Texas, Semana Santa has the greatest impact on the prestige beauty market in the makeup category, as shown in the chart below. In contrast to a weekly sales average index for the total U.S., the prestige makeup sales pattern in La Cantera shows the Semana Santa sales peak eclipses even Christmas week.
While the emphasis is clearly on makeup, Semana Santa also benefits prestige skincare and fragrance. In skincare, Semana Santa delivers the largest peaks in average dollar sales per door in La Cantera for the year. Sales do not reach the same sales levels as prestige makeup, but there is considerable upside for high-performing brands in this category that should not be ignored. In comparison to makeup and skincare, there is a noticeable, but much smaller, sales bump that occurs for prestige fragrance during Semana Santa. This is especially true relative to the popular fragrance holiday of Mother’s Day that follows it, and Christmas, which is the most important shopping holiday for prestige fragrance.
Regardless of the category, consumer behavior around Semana Santa holds significant revenue and brand-building potential for retailers and manufacturers in the prestige beauty space. Leveraging information on local market preferences, participating in the celebration and family-centric nature of the holiday, and creatively attracting Hispanic consumers will create opportunities that can expand well beyond the local brick-and-mortar levels experienced during this peak period.
Semana Santa comes late this year (April 13-19, 2014) – are you ready?
*Source: The NPD Group, Inc./BeautyTrends, U.S. Geo Level retail dollar sales