The pandemic led German consumers to focus on health and hygiene more than they already did before, which benefited channels within health and beauty specialist retailers which focus on pharmaceutical, health and hygiene products. As such, both drugstores and chemists/pharmacies – which also remained open during lockdown periods – continued to record positive current value growth in 2021, just like in 2020.
During 2021, optical goods stores was able to offset some of the losses from 2020. Time spent by consumers working or studying from home continued to be significant in 2021, although various companies are already trialling a hybrid arrangement of home and office working.
On the one hand, chemists/pharmacies and drugstores/parapharmacies were channels which were able to remain open during lockdown periods in the pandemic in Germany in 2020-2021. On the other hand, many consumers’ cautious behaviour in leaving the house, especially in the first year of the pandemic, and the enforced online shift for products more affected by physical store closures, still translated into higher willingness to purchase products online, including the purchase of health products at online pharmacies instead of physical outlets of pharmacies or drugstores.
While 2020 and 2021 current value growth stayed positive for health and beauty specialist retailers, due to the mixture of a heightened emphasis on purchasing health and hygiene products, offset by declining sales of beauty products and other items deemed as less essential, the trend has clearly been that of slower value growth as a whole. The continued erosion of sales due to the growth of e-commerce is thus poised to take health and beauty specialist retailers into negative trajectory in value terms at constant 2021 prices over the forecast period.
Vitamins and dietary supplements specialist retailers is expected to register one of the most dynamic retail value growth rates across health and beauty specialist retailers over the forecast period. This channel is likely to benefit from its low sales base, leading to strong expansion potential, as well as rising awareness of health and fitness amongst consumers.
Chemists/pharmacies already registered a slowdown in current value growth in 2021, and over the forecast period overall sales are expected to decline at constant 2021 prices, driven largely by the online shift. Together with the launch of e-prescriptions in Germany in the second half of 2021, and a national test phase starting on 1 October 2021, e-commerce pharmacies, especially big ones such as Zur Rose or Shop Apotheke, are perfectly placed to seize the opportunity to become healthcare hubs with their respective umbrella brand names – DocMorris and Shop Apotheke – with e-prescriptions becoming mandatory on 1 January 2022.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Health and Beauty Specialist Retailers industry in Germany with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This is the aggregation of chemists/pharmacies, drugstores/parapharmacies, beauty specialist retailers, optical goods stores and other healthcare specialist retailers.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Health and Beauty Specialist Retailers research and analysis database.
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