The cosmetics or beauty products industry in the world is one sector which remains impervious to the ups and downs markets. Overall sales are indeed affected in the event of an economic downturn, but one can count on sales of cosmetics to maintain a certain volume overall. This is because of continuing and growing usage of products by women, and increasingly, by men, across the world.
France is known as one of the most sophisticated cosmetic, beauty and personal care market. The French beauty market is worth USD 16.84 billion as of 2015, is projected to grow at CAGR 7.49% to USD 24.17 billion by 2020. With a population of about 66 million, and about 62.5% lying between ages 15 and 64, France represents a massive market potential despite being one of the most saturated beauty markets in the world. As of 2012, makeup constituted 11% of the French beauty market.
In terms of distribution, the French market routes its mass market makeup merchandise through 7,250 supermarkets, 4,367 hard discounter stores, 2,580 drive stores. Another 2,300 perfumeries and 77 department stores, 23,000 pharmacies and 800 para-pharmacies equip cosmetics distribution in France, along with another 58,000 hair salons (according to 2012 figures).
Another driving factor of this market is increased sale of mass market products through pharmacies and other mass market channels, and a corresponding reduction in high priced products. Customers are increasingly looking for value for money products which are natural and beneficial for the skin, provide a range of combined benefits like anti-ageing, sebum/oil-control, radiance, moisturizing, etc. available in high priced premium products, at a lower than premium cost. This product class has been dubbed “masstige”. People were seen trading down from premium to masstige, and masstige to mass market brands as their disposable incomes were affected in response to shifts in the economy.
Along with typical skin, lips and eye makeup, the newest trend is the blending of multiple benefits under one beautifying product. The result of this trend, originating in South Korea, is the BB (followed by CC, DD and EE) creams, which have the color correction properties of foundation, SPF benefits of sunscreen, moisturizing properties, anti-ageing properties, and a multitude of other medical and natural ingredients imparted benefits. The French are increasingly socially responsible, only investing in organic and fair trade related brands. Furthermore, there is an expanding market for ethnic and Asian skin tone related products.
Ecommerce is an emerging channel where competitive discounts are available. Famous brands include Revlon (with X.X% of the market), L’Oreal, Unilever, P&G and more.
An ageing population, a comparatively high purchasing power, a number of research and innovations being carried out with regards to the organic/natural cosmetics trend, BB, CC and DD foundation variations, etc., a teen population growing older younger, innovations in delivery through hybrid stores and some other factors drive the cosmetics market in France.
A subdued economy fresh out of the Eurozone crisis, high unemployment, decreasing purchasing power, declining health of an ageing population, increasing inflation, and a few other factors form the challenges in the French market for cosmetics.
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