The beauty market runs on novelty. This is not news to those in retail. Every month sees a chain of new products arrive on the scene, from large-scale launches to niche items, from truly innovative products to those that are extensions of existing lines and different formats of already existing products: bottom line is they all have the same destination, the retail shelf.
While the industry tries, and tries with all its strength, to control this space, the noble decision to choose what goes in and what comes out, and what space is given over to what category, brand, and item is at the retailer’s sole discretion. And it could not be any other way. In addition to being the owner of the space, more than sufficient motive in itself, it is the retailer who has a direct relationship with the consumer. Above all a technical tool, like business intelligence, stock management and customer relationship systems, the retailer needs to enter into the fray with the sensitivity of someone who waits on the consumer every day. A good shopkeeper know his or her clientele and is always ready to discover what the customer wants and what could add value to the customer. At the same time, the shopkeeper bears the brunt of a poorly chosen product.
On the other hand, the popular dermocosmetics market has seen its space in Brazilian drug stores and chemists expand aggressively. This is certainly great news, in that dermocosmetics possess several qualities, such as a high profit margin, prescription sales, impulse purchasing, buying as a result of advice at the point of sale, a sophisticated image, etc., etc. Equally so, is it true that the expansion of the mix is made in a uniform manner in practically all stores belonging to large Brazilian chain stores. They all offer the same brands. As if this were not enough, the greater part of the products displayed on the shelves are not that very different one from another. The retailer must look more closely and more analytically at the category as a whole, identifying what truly adds sales and value there. If not, the large space given over to this category could turn against the shopkeeper and thus against the market itself.
Aûani Cusma de Paula é o Editor da Revista Atualidade Cosmética.