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Cosmetics Retailing in India: Obvious Excitement

By: Priyanka Bhattacharya
Posted: February 20, 2007, from the February 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Both skin care and color cosmetics have seen steady growth throughout the past five years. Color cosmetics have been growing at a steady rate of more than 30% annually during this time. According to the latest Euromonitor report on the Indian cosmetics and toiletries market, the color cosmetics market stands at $113.4 million and skin care at $346.9 million.

Toni Parisi, head of marketing, Middle East and Indian subcontinent, fine fragrances and cosmetics, Procter & Gamble, which launched its MAX Factor cosmetics in the country, feels that there is an increasing aspiration among the upper- and middle-class women for globally well-known products. Seeing the increasing buying power in the young crowd, L’Oréal India, which is one of the area’s leading brands, specifically targets young consumers with focused promos and events. According to Binita Cooper, general manager, L’Oréal Luxury Division, the women with disposable income have started to spend on themselves and they are as discerning customers as the women in more aware and mature markets.

In India today, the increasing number of women in age group 22 to 45 are becoming independent, have disposable income and the decision-making power to buy what they want. This emerging category has caught the attention of leading global luxury brands, with most in the process of either setting up or expanding their presence in the market.

Influx of Global Brands
From market research reports, it is quite evident that the cosmetics and toiletries industry in the developed markets has reached maturity and is showing sluggish growth, while countries such as India, with its growing economy, offer a great growth potential to large cosmetics multinationals.

Thus the Indian color cosmetics and skin care market throughout the past two years has seen increased activity, fueling a growth of 20% last year, according to a recent study by the Confederation of Indian Industry. The market saw the entry of several brands, including MAC Cosmetics, Chanel, Givenchy, Versace, Red Earth, Body Shop, Christian Breton, ArtDeco and MAX Factor.