Revenue for the wig and hairpiece stores industry is projected to rise over the next five years at an annualized rate, according to market-research firm IBISWorld’s newly updated "Wig & Hairpiece Stores in the U.S. Industry" report. The industry will primarily benefit from improving per capita disposable income, which will boost demand for discretionary purchases of wigs and hairpieces.
The wig and hairpiece stores industry represents a niche product retailer within the haircare sector. The industry caters to two distinct consumer groups: individuals who purchase wigs and hairpieces for aesthetic purposes; and those who purchase them because of a medical condition or treatment that leads to hair loss. (Wigs for the latter group are known as cranial prostheses.)
During the recession, demand for aesthetic wigs and hairpieces contracted. Consumers cut unnecessary items from their budgets or substituted for inexpensive wigs and hairpieces. However, as the economy has recovered over the five years to 2014, rising disposable income has boosted demand for aesthetic wigs and hairpieces. This trend is expected to continue through 2014, leading to revenue gain during the year.
“Advanced technology has improved synthetic-hair capabilities over the past five years and demand for this hair-product segment has consequently grown,” said IBISWorld industry analyst Britanny Carter.
For example, synthetic wigs were historically pre-styled and damaged if exposed to heat. Now, new fiber technology allows consumers to style wigs to the wearer's preference with heat tools such as curling irons. While human hair is still preferred over synthetic hair, human-hair products command premium pricing. By contrast, synthetic-hair wigs are less expensive. The lower price and improved capacities of synthetic hair have consequently boosted sales, making the segment a growing share of industry revenue over the past five years.
Demand for medical-use hairpieces is also expected to strengthen in line with the rising average age of Americans. Older individuals are more prone to health conditions that may result in hair loss so they are more likely to purchase wigs or hairpieces.
The report also highlights key statistics, major companies, cost-structure benchmarks, key success factors, the supply chain and the industry outlook, among other topics.
The report includes stores that primarily specialize in selling wigs, hairpieces and hair extensions for aesthetic and medical purposes. It doesn't include retailers that primarily provide wigs and hairpieces via electronic mediums.