Poles willingly buy cosmetics in chemists, as this is consistently the most popular sales channel of beauty products, although cosmetics are also offered in discount stores. Experts predict that in the course of time chemists will specialize even more and will invest in the more well-off customer, as well as products from the mid-upper and upper price sectors.

The framework of places where Polish consumers usually purchase cosmetics is stable. Foremost, there are chemists, which have been gaining popularity for a few years by attracting people with their appealing prices, and ever wider choices (according to PMR research from 2016). People usually shop in discount stores, hypermarkets and supermarkets. The exception is when buying cosmetics; these are mainly bought in specialized shops, more trusted by customers. Results from research carried out by the PMR Research Institute show that 80% of Poles buy cosmetics in chemists, in the main women (86%) and men (67%). The research also reveals that the popularity of chemists among shoppers depends on their educational background (from 66% with primary education to 89% with higher education), and on their income (74% with an income of no more than PLN 1000, and 87% with an income higher than PLN 2000). The “Shopper’s Perspective 2017” report prepared by the Open Research agency, shows that most people buy cosmetics in network chemists (37%); in small shops and chain perfume shops (5% for each) and online (4%).


Five More Important Spots

Poles are the most willing to buy cosmetics in: the Rossmann chemist chain, from Avon consultants, Biedronka discount stores, Natura chemist chain and Tesco hypermarkets. The PMR report quoted Biedronka as ranked 10th place a year ago, and now has significantly risen to 3rd place behind Rossman and Avon with a 10% share of the market. The Biedronka network stores mainly capture customers with primary education (17% in this group) and households with a net income per person below PLN 1000 (14%). People with higher income usually buy cosmetics in chemists, or online.

Discount Stores Will Lose, While Drugstores Will Gain

A popular place among people buying cosmetics is also a hypermarket; a quarter of PMR respondents buy from such stores. Next, are discount stores with a varied assortment of well-known cosmetic brands, and own-label products. In the last two years the share of the cosmetics market for discount stores has steadily increased (in 2014, PMR research showed that they held seventh place and in 2015, fourth). However, experts predict that it will not be a stable trend.

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

People buying cosmetics also pay attention to the variety of the offer, attractive displays, test samples, professional staff, and the ambience of luxury. Discount stores cannot provide this; because of their quantity potential they are only unbeatable in the case of in-out promotional activities. However, chemists investing in a broader spectrum than that found in mass-markets, do not worry about it as they often set up their activity in the neighbourhood of discount stores, which provides them with huge numbers of customers. They benefit from the situation all round; a steady stream of passing trade, and the ability to promote their own, completely different offer.

Why Do Poles Buy Cosmetics?

The most powerful lure is a promotion – 75% of Polish respondents admitted that from time to time they buy a product only because it was labelled with a “discount” sticker. Poles like to experiment. The word “new” is a magnet that attracts 50% of us and 62% of us treat recommendations by others, almost as a rule. Features essential for Poles choosing cosmetics include: affordable price (58%), composition (49%), information on the package complying with expectations (48%), promotion (37%), recognizable brand (35%) and a positive opinion of friends (35%). Less influential when it comes to choosing cosmetics are, according to the respondents: advertising (12%), opinion on the Internet/in newspapers (17%) and attractive packaging (17%).


Women Versus Men

According to the respondents, 53% of all cosmetic purchases are made in chemists or cosmetic shops, and 15% through consultants of cosmetics lines. This means that the women taking part in the research are more accustomed to using a delivery channel that specializes in the sale of cosmetics.

With men, the situation looks different. 35% of men buy cosmetics in chemists or cosmetic shops, but the bigger number – 42% – shop in grocery store chains: hypermarkets (24%), supermarkets and discount stores (18%). This seems to confirm a hypothesis verified in other PMR research projects, that men buy cosmetics more often than women, mainly when bulk shopping – when doing the weekly family shopping, for example. Women, on the other hand, consciously buy cosmetics independently of groceries etc., and more often buy professional, more expensive cosmetics that are not available in general grocery stores.

Shopping Location Choice Criteria

Polish respondents spontaneously said that, mostly, the criterion for the choice of shops was convenient location (35%). Convenient location covers: comfort, proximity, easy access, and parking spaces. Other criterion for their location choice was price (22%), wide product range (20%); the 10% threshold was surpassed by quality of products (12%), followed by shop’s brand (6%) and availability of promotional offers (4%).

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

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