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Report Outlines Beauty Spending in EU

Posted: August 22, 2008

According to Verdict Research's latest European Health & Beauty Retailers 2008 report, the U.K. spends more per person on health and beauty products than any other European country.

"The average UK consumer spends €375 a year on health & beauty products, far more than most of our European neighbors," said Carol Ratcliffe, retail analyst at Verdict Research and co-author of the report. "[They] spend almost 50% more each year than the Spanish, for example, and 43% more than the average European." (Table 1)

The U.K.'s high level of spend per head can be attributed to easy access to a wide selection of health and beauty products, a strong consumer appetite for innovative and upmarket items, and a shift to more premium, higher priced products. This high level of spending combines with its large population to make the U.K. the second largest market for health and beauty products in Europe, behind only Germany.

But British retailers have made only a limited impact on mainland Europe.

Of the top six health and beauty specialists in the EU, only Alliance Boots is from the U.K. Germans dominate the leaderboard, occupying four of the top six places, while the leading retailer is Hong Kong based A.S. Watson, part of the Hutchison Whampoa group. Verdict Research argues that the leading German retailers (Schlecker, dm-drogerie markt, Rossmann and Douglas) can attribute their success in part to the comparatively consolidated nature of German health and beauty retail and the favorable central location of the country for international expansion.