Polish cosmetics buyers‘ preferences – findings of a survey 

Women choose specialist channels rather than general grocery stores when purchasing cosmetics and are more likely to shop specifically for cosmetics. Men, on the other hand, more often buy such items along with the large weekly shopping for the household.

by PMR Publications Thursday, March 24, 2011
These are some of the findings of a consumer survey included in the latest PMR report "Retail market of cosmetics in Poland 2011. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2011-2013".

The main shopping locations for cosmetics purchases indicated by our respondents are specialist beauty care and cosmetics stores. The development of this category over the past few years has shown that consumers, and female customers in particular, are increasingly inclined to buy more expensive products, to expect a wide range of lines, and, most of all, to expect assistance from staff, which means that the hypermarket offer is no longer adequate. As a result, specialist cosmetics and beauty care stores are becoming more prevalent on the market. A significant factor is their convenient locations (in shopping centres and main streets). In small towns, where there are no supermarkets, a cosmetics store is often the only place at which to buy such products.

According to those we surveyed, 53% of all cosmetics shopping is carried out by women at beauty care and cosmetics stores, and a further 15% with the assistance of cosmetic company consultants. This means that for female respondents shopping for cosmetics is carried out by means of a specialist distribution channel. The situation is different among male consumers. Despite the fact 35% of all shopping done by men takes place at beauty care and cosmetics stores, 42% is done at general grocery stores: hypermarkets (24%) or supermarkets and discount stores (18%). This pattern of shopping locations confirms the theory, verified in other PMR research projects, that men more often than women buy their cosmetics as part of larger purchases: for example, the weekly shopping for the entire household. Women are more likely to buy such products independently, or while doing other shopping at shopping centres. The pattern is also related to the nature of the products - women buy more specialist, and more expensive, cosmetics which are simply not available at general grocery stores.

Among the beauty care and cosmetics stores, the most frequently indicated brands were the Rossmann, Drogerie Natura, Sephora and Super-Pharm chains. Tesco, Real and Carrefour were the most favoured hypermarkets, and Biedronka and Lidl the most popular discount stores.

Selection criteria for shopping locations
The most frequently cited factor pertaining to the choice of store categories in spontaneous responses was the convenience of the location (35% of all indications). Convenient location encompasses ideas such as comfort, proximity, easy reach and easy parking. Another choice criterion was price (22% of indications). Approximately 20% of responses referred to a wide selection of lines. The final factor which exceeded the 10% threshold was product quality (12%), followed by the store brand (5%) and promotional offers (4%).

Preferred methods of promotion
Both men and women opt mainly for the possibility of buying two products for the price of one. This form of promotional offer was cited by 38% of female and 42% of male respondents. The choice of the "two-for-one" offer is associated with a strong preference for products from a favourite brand. The next most popular form of promotion was reduced price, with 27% and 25% of women and men respectively. Larger containers prompted a similar response among men (23%), but were appreciated less by women (18%). The least popular form was a free gift with a purchase, indicated as a favourite by only 17% of women and 11% of men.

The article is based on a consumer survey included in the latest PMR report entitled „Retail market of cosmetics in Poland 2011. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2011-2013“.

About PMR

PMR is a British-American company providing market information, advice and services to international businesses interested in Central and Eastern European countries as well as other emerging markets. PMR's key areas of operation include business publications (through PMR Publications), consultancy (through PMR Consulting) and market research (through PMR Research). Being present on the market since 1995, employing highly skilled staff, offering high international standards in projects and publications, providing one of most frequently visited and top-ranked websites, PMR is one of the largest companies of its type in the region.

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