Turbulent times for German beauty retail

The highly anticipated return of Sephora to the German beauty retail landscape has not been enough to alleviate sluggish cosmetics and personal care sales over the past 12 months

Last year was another tempestuous 12 months for the German cosmetics and toiletries (C&T) market.

The sector was characterised by a sluggish performance from the mass market and disappointing results in the perfumery sector.

The country's leading drugstore retailers dm-drogerie markt and Rossmann continued their intense rivalry for market share, driving down retail prices for mass-market beauty even further.

Meanwhile, the successful market entry of LVMH-owned perfumery chain Sephora shook up the German perfumery sector, and the ongoing drama involving the Karstadt and Kaufhof chains continued to keep the domestic department store sector on edge.

Still, according to personal care association Industrieverband Körperpflege & Waschmittel (IKW), the German C&T market turned in moderately successful results in 2017.

Total market turnover reached €13.6bn last year, which marks a meagre 0.5% increase compared with 2016. However, Georg Held of IKW says the association is satisfied with last year's results.

The pace of innovation was high among IKW'S 420 member companies, Held says, and even more importantly, Germany's C&T manufacturers are optimistic about market development in 2018. During a recent membership poll, . . .

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