Poles willingly buy cosmetics in drugstores. It is consistently the most popular sales channel of products from beauty category, although cosmetics are also offered in discount stores. Experts predict that in the course of time drugstores will specialize themselves even more and will invest into more well-off customers as well as goods from mid-upper and upper price segments.

The framework of places where Polish consumers usually purchase cosmetics is stable. In the forefront there are drugstores. Besides, there are drugstores that have been gaining popularity for a few years, encouraging people with attractive prices and wider and wider choice – according to PMR research from 2016 r. People usually do shopping in discount stores, hypermarkets and supermarkets. The exception is the category of cosmetics which are mainly bought in specialized shops, more trusted by customers. Nearly 80 % Poles buy cosmetics in drugstores. More frequently these are women (86 percent) than men (67 %) – according to PMR research institution. Popularity of drugstores among shoppers depends on their education (from 66 % in case of people with primary education to 89 % in case of those with higher education) and on income (74 % among people earning not more than  PLN 1000, 87 % in case of people with income higher than PLN 2000) – these are the results of PMR research company. Most people buy cosmetics in network drugstores (37 %), but they also go to small shops and chain perfume shops (5% for each) as welll as buy products online (4 %) – according to “Shopper’s Perspective 2017” report prepared by Open Research agency.


Five More Important Spots

Poles are the most willing to buy cosmetics: in Rossmann drugstore chain, from Avon consultants, in Biedronka discount stores, in Natura drugstore chain and Tesco hipermarkets. The growth in Biedronka importance when it comes to the place of purchasing cosmetics is also depicted by the results of consumer research carried out by PMR. The chain was on the third position, after Rossmann and Avon, with the result of 10%, while it had the tenth position just one year ago. Cosmetics products are bought in Biedronka network stores mainly by customers with primary education (17% in this group) and households with net income for one person below PLN 1000 (14%). People with higher income usually buy cosmetics in drugstores or online.

Discount Stores Will Lose, While Drugstores Will Gain

A popular place among people buying cosmetics are also hipermarkets. One fourth of PMR respondents buy them in large-format stores. On the next place there are discount stores which made their assortment more varied, introducing both cosmetics of well-known brands and their own products. In the last two years the share of discount stores in cosmetics sale has been growing (in 2014 the PMR research showed that they were on the seventh position and in 2015 on the fourth). However experts predict that it will not be a stable trend.

According to AC Nielsen agency research, sales of cosmetics in discount stores is decreasing. Cosmetics are not a priority category for this channel and discount stores have no space for developing the category as much so as to make it attractive for demanding customers. In the meantime Polish society is getting richer and richer so consumers will rather choose products from the mid-upper and upper price level which are available in drugstores.

People buying cosmetics also pay attention to the variety of the offer, attractive exposure, possibility to try out products, professional staff and the atmosphere of luxury. This is what cannot be provided by discount stores. Because of their quantity potential they are unbeatable in case of in-out promotional actions. However, drugstores investing in different assortment than the one in mass-markets do not worry about it. They often even start activity in the neighbourhood of discount stores as they provide them with huge number of customers. They benefit from the situation, promoting their own, completely different offer.

Why Do Poles Buy Cosmetics?

The most powerful are promotions – 75% of Polish respondents admitted that at least from time to time they buy some product only because it was labelled with a “discount” note. Besides, Poles like to experiment. A word “new” encourages one half of us. Equally big number, that is 62%, take into account the opinion they have heard. According to the rule: I buy things which have been regarded as good by someone else. Among features essential for Poles choosing cosmetics there are: affordable price (58%), composition (49%), information on the package complying with expectations (48%), promotion (37%), recognizable brand (35%) and positive opinion of friends (35%). Among the attributes that are less decisive when it comes to choosing cosmetics are, according to the respondents: advertising (12%), opinion in the Internet/in newspapers (17%) and attractive packaging (17%).


Women Versus Men

According to the respondents 53% of all cosmetics purchases are made in drugstores or cosmetic shops, while next 15% is bought through consultants of cosmetics lines. This means that for the women taking part in the research they are associated with the use of a delivery channel which specializes in cosmetics sale.

In case of men the situation looks different. Although 35% men purchases are those made in drugstores or cosmetics shops, 42% are purchases made in grocery store chains: in hypermarkets (24%) or supermarkets and discount stores (18%). Such arrangement confirms the hypothesis verified in other PMR research projects. According to this hypothesis men buy cosmetics more often than women, while doing greater shopping, for example every-week shopping for the whole household. On the other hand, when women buy cosmetics, it is independent consumer action or sometimes they do it during shopping in malls. Besides, such scheme of shopping locations results from the type of purchased products – women more often buy professional, more expensive cosmetics that are not available in general grocery stores.

Shopping Location Choice Criteria

In spontaneous answers of Polish respondents the most frequently mentioned criterion for the choice of shops was convenient location (35%). Convenient location also means comfort, proximity, easy access, parking spaces. Another criterion for the choice was price (22%). 20% of answers concerned wide products range. The 10% threshold was also surpassed by the quality of products (12%). Other criteria are a shop’s brand (6%) and availability of promotion (4%).


If you need to introduce to Polish market any brand from cosmetics sector, contact us. We will create a plan of such a campaign as well as implement it. Send email to info@all4comms.com.


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