Ongoing growth in the Dutch economy has had a range of effects that support stable and positive growth in mass beauty and personal care, including a lower unemployment rate and increased consumer confidence. However, the overall slight increase being seen in disposable incomes is not evenly distributed across all socioeconomic segments.
2018 saw a further erosion of the position of traditionally popular retail channels for mass beauty and personal care, including drugstores/parapharmacies and supermarkets. This was mainly due to the fierce competition coming from rival channels, while low sales growth also contributed to the situation.
One way in which retailers in declining channels have sought to attract customers and minimise volume sales declines is by offering beauty and personal care products under price discounts. Indeed, the review period saw a significant increase in the frequency of price promotions in all major beauty and personal care categories.
The leading brands in mass beauty and personal care are constantly innovating to counter the pressure coming from the ongoing negative price spiral. One of the most notable introductions in 2018 was Unilever’s launch of Love Beauty and Planet, a brand that offers a wide collection of vegan, natural and sustainable product at affordable prices.
Although internet retailing is still a minor distribution channel for sales of beauty and personal care, its position is constantly improving as consumers become more interested in the convenience and low prices that internet retailing represents. Younger generations in particular are already accustomed to buying many of their beauty and personal care products online, making it increasingly essential for brands to have a strong online presence, especially if they seek to connect with millennials.
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