Italians and body care

Published: 12 July 2016
In no other country to people spend as much money on body care (in relation to total purchasing power) as they do in Italy. In that respect, they are certainly among the most well-groomed Europeans. Although the Swiss and Scandinavians spend even more in absolute terms, their purchasing power is correspondingly higher. Germany is in the middle part of this ranking – the average German spends less than 190€ per year on body care. In contrast, the average Italian consumer spends some 300€ on average for this product category. Of course, and as always in Italy, there are considerable differences between the north and south. Nonetheless, beauty products and decorative cosmetics account for a particularly large share of consumer expenditure in Italy, especially when compared internationally.
The total market for the drugstore and perfumery sector has seen some slightly negative develop-ment in Italy, not least as a result of the economic situation in the country. However, forecasts for the near future point to a recovery and possible slight increase in turnover.
The sales channels in Italy differ significantly from those in the German-speaking region. The formats well-known in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (e.g. dm, BIPA, or also Müller) are not that common in Italy. Following dm’s withdrawal from the Italian market and Schlecker’s insolvency, relatively few drugstore chains remain in Italy – the 700 outlets of Acqua & Sapone and a few smaller players such as Ipersoap or Il Tulipano are the exception, and not the rule. Even the term “drugstore” is not commonly used in Italy (with the exception of South Tyrol).
Instead, Italians prefer to buy their body care products and cosmetics in grocery stores and phar-macies, as well as numerous perfumeries and health food stores (erboristeria), as can be seen from the distribution of the total market between sales channels.
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