The global tattoo market has been witnessing significant growth, particularly with the permanent tattoo segment gaining traction in countries like France. As of 2018, the proportion of French individuals with tattoos has risen from 10% to 18%, and the number of tattoo artists and studios has surged accordingly. Despite the absence of official market size data for France, it is estimated that there are between 3,500 and 4,000 tattoo studios with an annual turnover between €90 and €450 million (averaging about €270 million). The market growth is, however, not uniform across demographics, with a higher prevalence in the 25-34 age group, among women, and in working-class socio-professional categories.

The market is characterized by a wide range of prices and the popularity of discreet tattoo locations, although visible areas are also common. Social media, particularly Instagram, plays a vital role in the visibility and marketing of tattoo artists' work. Regulation-wise, tattooists in France must undergo at least 21 hours of hygiene and sanitation training but do not require specific diplomas. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the industry, with mandatory studio closures leading to financial strain; for instance, the Auxerre "Frappe Chirurgicale" lost 80% of its turnover during the first 2020 lockdown.

Despite this, the perception of tattoos has been improving, and with stricter regulations and increasing acceptance amongst younger populations, the tattoo industry is likely to continue its growth trajectory.

Emerging Trends in the French Tattoo Market: A Decade of Growth and Diverse Preferences

Over recent years, the French tattoo market has witnessed a remarkable surge in popularity. The number of French citizens sporting tattoos has grown from around 10 to 18 percent. Despite France's relatively conservative approach to tattooing compared to other nations, the art form has progressively enamored the populace, with its adoption notably increasing during international travels. One significant trend is the generational shift in attitudes toward tattooing. Younger age groups, particularly those between 25 to 34 years old, are leading the charge, embracing tattoos as a cultural norm. A study shows that around 20 percent of women and 16 percent of men in France are tattooed, with a higher occurrence amongst blue-collar workers compared to white-collar professionals.

Geographically, the North East of France showcases a higher penetration rate of tattooing, contrasting with the relatively lower rates in metropolitan regions like Paris. Analysis of the demand reveals that societal perception of tattoos is becoming more positive, with 43 percent of French people having a great image of tattooing. In particular, 68 percent of the 18 to 24-year-olds view tattoos favorably, indicative of an evolving cultural acceptance that could shape future market growth. Furthermore, the preference for discreet tattoo locations is clear, with 67 percent of participants opting for tattoos on parts of their bodies that can be concealed or exposed at will. On the flip side, 43 percent choose more visible areas, signifying a boldness in self-expression amongst French tattoo enthusiasts.

In terms of market size, while there's no official figure for the French tattoo market, estimates suggest tattoo studios have an annual turnover ranging between 90 and 450 million euros, averaging out at about 270 million euros. This estimation accounts for the varying scale of operations, from small studios to larger, more renowned establishments. Another observation of the market points to the rise in hygiene awareness and regulation compliance amongst tattoo practitioners. The implementation of a mandatory 21-hour hygiene and salubrity training for tattoo artists reflects the nation's commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of consumers. This has likely contributed to a reduction in the stigma associated with tattoo-related health risks, further encouraging market growth.

In conclusion, the French tattoo market is characterized by its dynamic growth, diversification of demand by age, gender, and social class, and an increasing inclination toward safe practices. With an estimated average turnover of around 270 million euros.

Prominent Forces Shaping the French Tattoo Landscape

In the ever-evolving French tattoo industry, several key players have carved out their niche and left indelible marks on the competitive canvas of body art. These trailblazers have differentiated themselves, offering unique services that cater to an increasingly diverse and demanding clientele. Let us embark on a journey through the studios and networks that are etching their legacy onto the skin of the French market.

  • American Body Art Standing out as a robust chain in the heart of Paris, American Body Art is more than just a tattoo parlor—it's a brand that has expanded its reach through multiple outlets across the city. Offering both tattooing and piercing services, American Body Art operates on a franchise model, creating opportunities for eager entrepreneurs to join in their established success. Their presence is strongly accentuated in highly-frequented districts, beckoning both locals and tourists into their artistically driven spheres.
  • Tribal Act Tribal Act breathes a distinct air of artistic expression in its Parisian studio. Renowned for its intricate and culturally-rich designs, Tribal Act has carved a niche for itself among aficionados seeking tattoos with deep symbolism. Despite the small and intimate scale of operation, their work has left a lasting impact, showcasing the depth and profitability that can be achieved with dedication to the craft.
  • Graphicaderme The collective drive of tattoo artists within Graphicaderme epitomizes collaboration in the French tattoo scene. Merging creative minds and diverse styles under one umbrella, Graphicaderme has established itself as a beacon for those in search of a collective that celebrates a wide range of tattoo expressions. Their salons not only cater to ink enthusiasts but extend their offerings to piercing services, widening their scope of influence.
  • My Body Art Spreading its wings beyond its Lyon origins, My Body Art has established a reputation for being attuned to customer demands. With reviews and a strong digital presence backing its growing acclaim, this salon has extended its branches to cities like Villeurbanne, Chambéry, and Grenoble. Their modern approach and attentive service have made them a go-to for tattoo seekers tracing their lines throughout the region.
  • Titanium Based in Toulouse, Titanium stands tall with substantial annual revenue that reflects its popularity and trusted services. It has become not only a local favorite but also a destination for those willing to travel to experience the premium artistry that Titanium offers. Their success underlines the market's potential for growth and sustainability.
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  • Last update : 04/11/2021
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

A tattoo is a permanent drawing made on the skin, by means of pointed objects or needles that introduce indelible dyes under the skin. It has always been practiced in many parts of the world and can have symbolic, religious or decorative functions.

We can distinguish two kinds of tattoos:

  • the temporary tattoo: the inks belong to the category of cosmetic products
  • the permanent tattoo: realized by professional tattooers, the inks used come under a particular regulation

The present study will focus on the permanent tattoos.

Tattoos are more and more adopted by French people: between 2010 and 2018, the proportion of French people declaring to have experienced a tattoo has increased from 10 to 18%. At the same time, the number of tattoo artists has also increased. The market is becoming more and more competitive and tattoo artists are vying with each other to distinguish themselves by communicating massively on social networks. France remains "late" on the issue of tattooing compared to other countries where it is more practiced (French people are use to get tattooed during travels most of the time).

The profession of tattooer-perceiver does not require any particular diploma but the person must nevertheless declare himself to the ARS and follow a training relating to the conditions of hygiene and salubrity, this one lasts at least 21 hours distributed on 3 consecutive days.

The sector was largely affected by the crisis of the Covid-19, the studios of tattooing underwent of full force the closings bound to the confinement. Taking the example of the tattoo parlour of Auxerre "Frappe Chirurgicale", the latter lost 80% of its turnover during the first confinement in 2020, and received only a small aid of 1 500 €. The aid from the second containment, however, made it possible to compensate for the losses. 

List of charts

  • Evolution of the percentage of French people tattooed
  • Proportion of French people who think that HIV can be transmitted by getting a piercing or tattoo
  • Change in the percentage of youth who think AIDS can be transmitted by piercing/knocking
  • What are the main reasons why you have not yet acted on the permanent transformation(s) you would like to make?
  • Evolution of the number of tattoo parlors
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Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

American Body Art
Tribal Act
My Body Art
Des1volt Tatouage
RigalStudio Tatouage

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