Fourth Report on the value of the cosmetics industry in Italy. Summary of the results

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1 BEAUTY REPORT/2013 Fourth Report on the value of the cosmetics industry in Italy Summary of the results 1. On 4 June 2013, the fourth Beauty Report dedicated to the cosmetics industry, promoted by Cosmetica Italia the personal care association and drawn up by Ermeneia System Studies and Strategies, of Rome, was presented in Palazzo Wedekind, at Piazza Colonna 366, Rome. Once again this year, an up-to-date snapshot was taken of the cosmetics industry s performance over the last year, with a continued emphasis placed on two key objectives: to convey a more realistic image of the industry to institutions, the media and public opinion, contrasting how it is generally perceived; and to observe how businesses in the sector are faring in the current economic downturn, given that they usually show a better capacity to weather economic storms than other industries. The Report retains its consolidated format, with Part One focused on key trends over the last year; Part Two provides an annual industry check-up; Part Three explores a specific cosmetics retail channel (this year, perfume shops); Part Four looks at developments in consumer behaviour and attitudes; and finally, Part Five traces the performance over time of key structural indicators. 2. The findings of this year s Beauty Report/2013 can be summarized in four key points, which illustrate how the cosmetics industry is feeling the pinch of the current economic downturn, but has continued to go against the flow in a positive sense. 1) To begin with, the industry has continued to enjoy fundamental growth, despite the impact of an ongoing recession whose effects can be seen especially in the domestic market. Contrasting trends were witnessed in Negative trends recorded included an average 1.8% drop in the consumption of cosmetics, with perfume shops recording a drop of -4.0%, hairdressing salons - 6.0%, beauty salons -5.0%, supermarkets and hypermarkets -3.4%, and pharmacies -1.4% (Table 1); In contrast, however, a look at the corresponding figures for Italian industry as a whole shows that the cosmetics industry performed better than average, recording +0.9% in production output, compared to a national -3.9% in the output of nondurable goods; +7.0% in exports versus +3.7% for national exports as a whole; +22.4% in the balance of trade for the industry, building on the +22.2% recorded in 2011 and the +28.2% posted in 2009 (Table 1). Business sentiment in the industry also evinces in its own way the impact of the current economic downturn (Table 2). The survey shows that the perception of its 1

2 impact has grown (from 42.7% in 2010 to 44.5% in 2012), while 21% of businesses reported they are still experiencing the recession; trends in orders, turnover and jobs also signal that the industry is experiencing a slowdown in the growth to which it is accustomed. As a result, the performance gap between businesses (Table 3) widened over the year, leading 77.8% of respondents to agree with the statement that the impact of the recession has not been the same for all businesses, as some performed very well in 2012 while others performed very badly. Consequently, there appears to be a growing gap between businesses recording positive growth in orders, turnover, investment, exports and jobs, and those recording negative growth. Thus the industry is facing a situation of slowdown and in some cases contraction, with a weakening of the growth trends enjoyed in the past. Nevertheless, the cosmetics industry continues to go against the flow, although it has not been immune to recession. 2) Secondly, the industry appears to be positively weathering the economic storm, thanks to the non-cyclical nature of consumer spending patterns, although consumers have adjusted their behaviour slightly. The spring 2013 survey, when compared to the findings of surveys conducted in the same period of 2012 and 2010, confirms that the consumption of cosmetics goods is largely inelastic, although the recession has left its mark compared to Specifically: the percentage of respondents reporting that their cosmetics purchases were much higher/slightly higher or more or less the same, but high was still significant, though slightly lower compared to the previous year (35.4% versus 46.4%); with regard to changes in consumer attitudes, a sharp fall in consumption was witnessed between 2009 and 2011, suggesting a more prudent attitude to spending by consumers, whereas the propensity to spend remained largely stable between 2011 and In conclusion, between 34.0% and 40.0% of respondents agreed with the statement that the recession has not substantially changed my spending habits on cosmetics. That figure includes a subgroup of around 19% of respondents whose behaviour was even more markedly non-cyclical, who agreed with the statement despite the recession, I may have consumed even more, because you have to know how to keep your chin up, especially when times are hard (Table 4). 3) Thirdly, it was seen that the recession is being actively absorbed, while adjusting for its effects, by companies that take decisive action against it. The breakdown of companies according to their capacity to react against the market downturn shows that (Table 5): general strategies have become more widespread, including efforts to reposition, restructure, reorganise or even completely transform the company (up from 25.6% in 2011 to 33.3% in 2013); strategies involving higher, ongoing investment have also grown, with businesses choosing this line rising from 71.4% in 2011 to 83.1% in 2012, with an expected 79.5% forecast for 2013; the propensity for internationalization has grown among companies, with 81.8% of businesses choosing this strategy in 2013, up from 77.7% in 2011; 2

3 growing interest is being shown in business partnerships (up from 44.2% in 2011 to 48.9% in 2013), while e-commerce is increasingly being embraced, given that 75.7% of respondents reported that their company had made use of the channel or is thinking of using it, or is currently developing a specific project in the field. In short, the survey shows that companies are taking tangible, measurable action against the market downturn, although they are not entirely immune to its effects, especially in connection with the negative trends prevailing in the domestic market. Nevertheless, fully 97.8% of respondents stressed that the recession is forcing companies to make changes, while 82.2% agreed that companies succeed if they know how to adapt their business model. 4) Fourthly, it clearly emerged that constant attention needs to be focused on the cosmetics industry as a whole and on its maintenance. Indeed, one of the structural elements buoying the cosmetics industry is its long reach, in the sense that it incorporates not only cosmetics manufacturers but also distributors and retailers, service professionals and, ultimately, consumers, who represent its key asset. Thus the industry incorporates some 130,000 companies employing over 200,000 people, including not only manufacturing workers but also professionals at hairdressing and beauty salons, spa resorts, perfume shops, herbalist shops, pharmacies and parapharmacies. But it is consumers who, at the downstream end of the industry, send positive, negative or mixed signals, creating opportunities for growth or complete shutdown. Quite clearly for a whole series of different reasons, not all components of the industry will always find themselves in the same competitive position. That is why every year the report looks at a specific link in the chain. This year, the spotlight is on perfume shops. In 2012, the channel recorded a turnover of 2.2 billion, equal to 22.8% of total consumption of cosmetics goods; sales, however, recorded a drop of 4.0%. Businesses surveyed in the segment reported (Table 6): the perception that the downturn has worsened significantly over the last three years, a statement supported by 89.7% of respondents in 2013 compared to 45.0% in 2011; a negative outlook for the future, given that 91.4% of the retailers surveyed agreed that the channel is of major or significant importance today, but only 76.4% agreed it would continue to be so in the future; a clear conception of the weaknesses of the channel, given that 100% of respondents put those weaknesses down to competition from other channels; 94.4% to the lower budgets of customers; 52.9% to the difficulty of paying suitably qualified personnel to provide counselling services to customers; while 68.7% admitted they lacked the space to provide beautician services or opportunities to test new products. Nevertheless, it should be stressed that the general willingness of cosmetics companies and perfume shops to work together to help strengthen the channel is quite high, in the form of training for sales staff (88.7% agreed) as well as courses to improve sales effectiveness and the way perfume shops do business (80.6% agreed); a further 43.6% of respondents also agreed with the proposal of promoting Regional Perfume Shops, consisting of business networks, so as to compete more effectively with other channels. 3

4 On their part, cosmetics manufacturers (Table 7) affirmed their interest in perfume shops, with 78.2% agreeing that the channel is important (compared to 91.4% of perfume shops). The importance of the channel was attributed above all to: the possibility of providing personalized counselling services to customers (93.3% agreed); the opportunity of exploiting the channel to boost customer loyalty (91.7% agreed); the importance of exploiting the widespread reach of perfume shops to distribute across the territory (85.7% agreed). Furthermore, it was found that almost 90% of cosmetics manufacturers that already distribute through the channel intend to continue doing so in the future, with 27.8% of that total stating they would do so more intensively than today. Thus there is the room and the need to invest in maintaining the downstream end of the industry, in terms of both single channels and groups of channels, as well as through partnerships between different industry players. 3. The Beauty Report/2013 illustrates how the Italian cosmetics industry has continued to show positive signs of growth, while having to absorb the impact of the current economic situation. It also highlights, however, the need for two key changes in approach, especially in the channel examined by this year s Beauty Report/2013. First of all, there is the need for businesses to make more of an effort to be more rational in their sentiment. It is true that objective data for 2012 are negative, but they stand against a long history of snowballing growth. Even today, many indicators continue to be positive, or they are, in any case, less negative than average trends for the country. Thus, despite the slowdown in growth and the occasional negative sign, it is important that the industry does not fall victim to surprise or fear, or to the possible spread of negative sentiment. Rather, it needs to rationalize its pessimism and concerns and trust in the dynamism that certainly does not appear to be lacking in cosmetics companies, given their anti-cyclical propensity as well as what continues to be the remarkably noncyclical behaviour of consumers when it comes to purchasing cosmetics. Secondly, there is the need to harness that dynamism actively so as drive new growth. To do so, however, it needs to be positively supported and steered by both public-sector institutions and by private-sector industry associations, also through new partnerships and alliances built along the way. The businesses surveyed were therefore presented with a series of proposals designed to promote business growth. The proposals focused in particular on internationalization, a strategy chosen by a large number of companies today, and on the legislative reforms introduced by the government in office in 2012 and those being considered by the current Italian government (Table 8). They were also asked to assess a range of projects that can be promoted by industry associations, which focus specifically on: 4

5 young people, with a view to raising their awareness, and that of their families, of vocational opportunities in the cosmetics sector today and in the future; promoting a greater understanding of e-commerce by businesses, given the growing propensity of companies to use the channel a propensity that proved to be much higher than was previously thought; raising the standards of perfume shops, in terms of providing information, training and support to the channel so as to boost its ability to compete on the market. The consensus today is that more space and emphasis should be given to the issue of growth and to improving the productivity and competitiveness of businesses. The channel analysed here and the connected industry segment represent a good field in which to focus such efforts. Indeed, the proposals put to businesses in the survey could usefully be combined in various ways to achieve just such ends. 5

6 Table 1 The slowdown in fundamentals ( ) Phenomena Data Trend in industrial production compared to previous year (percentage increments) Total Italy Total Italy (non-durable consumer goods) Total cosmetics industry (including exports) Trend in exports compared to previous year (percentage increments) Total Italy (at current prices) Total cosmetics industry Trend in cosmetics industry balance of trade 3 In millions of Euros at current prices , ,235.0 % increase year by year (at current prices) trend in consumer non-durable consumption in Italy In millions of Euros at current prices 1 276, , , , , ,085 % increase year by year (at 2005 chain index prices) not available Trend in cosmetics consumption in Italy 4 In millions of Euros at current prices 9, , , , , ,631.0 % increase year by year (at current prices) not available Cosmetics industry advertising expenditure 5 In millions of Euros at current prices % increase year by year (at current prices) ( ) Cf. Table 1, Part One, page 26. (1) Source: ISTAT, data seasonally adjusted and corrected to take calendar effects into account. (2) Cf. Table 8, Part Five, page 164. (3) Cf. Table 9, Part Five, page 165. (4) Cf. Table 4, Part Five, page 157. (5) Cf. Table 10, Part Five, page

7 Table 2 How the effects of the ongoing recession are being felt (business sentiment) ( ) Phenomena Data Perceived intensity of the recession The business has been strongly affected } 42.7 } 40.3 } 43.0 } 44.5 The business has been somewhat affected Resulting top three problems Drop in Italian orders 2nd nd nd st 79.5 Delays in payments from customers 1st st st nd 71.8 Difficulty in collecting receivables 3rd rd rd rd 43.8 Experience of the recession The business is still feeling the full brunt of the recession + The business will have put the recession behind it by the next financial year The business is still feeling the recession, but with some positive signals + signs of recovery are becoming stronger The slowdown in fundamentals (business performance is up or constant but high) Trend in orders Trend in turnover Trend in jobs Prudent consumer behaviour ( I agree strongly + I agree somewhat ) The consumer responds mostly to price 88.9 The consumer spends less and shifts from one product to another 86.7 Consumers will long continue to have a prudent attitude to spending, with a focus on price, and will not be loyal to the purchasing channel 80.0 ( ) Cf. Table 2, Part One, page 29. (1) Cf. Table 1, Part Two, page 57. (2) Cf. Table 2, Part Two (top three issues reported out of 13 suggested), page 58. (3) Cf. Table 4, Part Two, page 62. (4) Cf. Tables 5, 6 and 8, Part Two, pages 65, 66, 69. (5) Cf. Table 12, Part Two, page 75. 7

8 Table 3 The growing gap between businesses ( ) Phenomena Data Different perceptions of the recession Businesses that have felt the recession very much + somewhat Business that have felt the recession little or not at all Different experiences of the recession The business has seen through and/or was not affected by the recession The business is feeling the recession but with signs of recovery The business is still feeling the full brunt of the recession + will have put the recession behind it by the next financial year The gap in fundamentals Orders are up + constant but high Orders are down + constant but low Turnover is up + constant but high Turnover is down + constant but low Investment is up + constant but high 5 not available Investment is down + constant but low 5 not available Exports are up + constant but high Exports are down + constant but low International turnover above 30% 7 not available International turnover below 30% 7 not available No international turnover not available Jobs are up + constant but high Jobs are down Opinions on the gap between businesses ( I agree strongly + I agree somewhat Companies that export feel the recession less 88.9 Companies succeed if they know how to adapt their business model 82.2 Different industry channels have experienced the recession differently 77.8 The impact of the recession has not been the same for all businesses, as some performed very well in 2012 while others performed very badly 77.8 ( ) Extract from Table 3, pages (1) Cf. Table 1, Part Two, page 57. (6) Cf. Table 7, Part Two, page 67. (2) Cf. Table 4, Part Two, page 62. (7) Cf. Table Annex 12, Annexes, page 179. (3) Cf. Table 5, Part Two, page 65. (8) Cf. Table 8, Part Two, page 69. (4) Cf. Table 6, Part Two, page 66. (9) Cf. Table 13, Part Two, page (5) Cf. Table 10, Part Two, page 72. 8

9 cyclical and non-cyclical attitudes to spending ( I agree strongly + I agree somewhat ) 2 Table 4 Consumer behaviour continues to be non-cyclical, despite some adjustments (val. %) 1 ( ) Phenomena Data The gap in spending patterns compared to the previous year 1 versus versus versus Much more than in the previous year Slightly more than in the previous year More or less the same as the previous year, but high More or less the same as the previous year, but low Slightly less Much less The gap between The recession has forced me to be more prudent in making these kinds of purchases The recession has forced me to purchase products that are more affordable but still of high quality The recession has forced me to purchase products that are preferably cheaper The recession has not substantially changed by spending habits, because I cannot and should not give up caring for myself, my wellness and my looks The recession has forced me to consume fewer products, but of high quality, which I believe are essential even if more expensive (I save on other, less important goods) Despite the recession, I may have consumed even more, because you have to know how to keep your chin up, especially when times are hard ( ) Cf. Table 4, Part One, page 36. (1) Cf. Table 1, Part Four, page 135. (2) Cf. Table 2, Part Four, page

10 Table 5 Anti-cyclical action taken by businesses ( ) Phenomena Adoption of general strategies Strategies adopted in 2011 Strategies adopted in 2012 Strategies adopted as of Actions to bring about a significant repositioning, restructuring and reorganisation of the business, as has been and/or will be necessary and opportune Undertake a real profound change (metamorphosis) in the firm s strategy and management Wait patiently while the crisis runs its course, as on other occasions in the past Adapt to the situation progressively with the flexibility that has been and/or will be necessary No new strategy as a result of the crisis, as it impacted/will impact only slightly or not at all on the firm Total Positive investment strategies 2 Spring 2011 Spring 2012 Spring 2013 For my business, the recession has been a chance to invest more In my business we always invest whenever we can, because competition in the sector is very high Although my business has felt the recession, we have made no appreciable change to our investment policies My business has not, or has only slightly, been affected by the recession, for which no change has been made to investment 11.3 policies For my business, the recession has led us to reduce investment Total Propensity to expand the business internationally It will grow very decisively It will grow gradually, but significantly Things will be kept at their current level The firm targets and/or intends to target the domestic market only Total Propensity to form partnerships with other businesses I believe I will actively look for partnership opportunities with other businesses, because you can t always go it alone, especially during a downturn like today s I believe business partnerships are part of the necessary changes involved in doing business today, and tomorrow All things considered, it is best for a business to go it alone, because business partnerships are always problematic and difficult If absolutely necessary I will look for new forms of partnership with other businesses, but will remain careful to avoid tricky situations Total Propensity to make use of e-commerce The business has made use of e-commerce + Is thinking of using it + Is preparing such a project 75.7 The company has never made use of e-commerce and is not thinking of doing so + Has used it but abandoned it 24.3 ( ) Extract from Table 5, pages (1) Cf. Table 16, Part Two, page 86. (5) Cf. Table 20, Part Two, page 91. (2) Cf. Table 11, Part Two, page 73. (6) Cf. Table 24, Part Two, page 98. (3) Cf. Table 15, Part Two, page 83. (7) Cf. Table 13, Part Two, pages (4) Cf. Table 19, Part Two, page 91. Data 10

11 Table 6 Consumption of cosmetics and performance of perfume shops (val. %) ( ) Phenomena Data Domestic consumption of cosmetics Annual increases Annual increases in sales by perfume shops Affected strongly + Perception of the recession by perfume shops 2 Affected strongly Affected somewhat somewhat In In In 2013 (forecast) Risk of progressive decline Today In the future Perfume shops are/will be a major channel Perfume shops are/will be a very important channel Perfume shops are/will be a somewhat important channel Perfume shops are/will not be an important channel Total I agree strongly + I agree somewhat Reasons for the minor importance of perfume shops 4 Cosmetics can be purchased via other channels and customers are flocking to them It is not sufficiently and/or adequately profitable, as it was in the past 95.0 Customers have lower budgets to spend 94.4 Often you can t afford to pay suitably qualified personnel to provide counselling services to customers 52.9 Often there s not enough space to provide beautician services and/or opportunities to test new products 68.7 Awareness of potential strengths 5 Ability to provide appropriate advice via qualified personnel 98.3 Ability to gain more trust from consumers than other competitor shops 87.0 Ability to offer greater assurances on the intrinsic quality of products stocked 83.7 Ability to provide products that other are less likely to stock 62.3 Possibility for cosmetics manufacturers and perfume shops to work together 6 Training courses for retail staff, including programmes funded by industry associations 88.7 Improving sales effectiveness and the way perfume shops do business 80.6 Improving the capacity of perfume shops to provide counselling services to customers 67.8 Promoting the establishment of Perfume Shops to compete more effectively with other channels (consisting of business networks) 43.6 ( ) Extract from Table 7, Part One, pages (1) Cf. Table 4, Part Five, page 157. (4) Cf. Table 7, Part Three, page 124. (2) Cf. Table 1, Part Three, page 112. (5) Cf. Table 6, Part Three, page 123. (3) Cf. Table 5, Part Three, page 119. (6) Cf. Table 10, Part Three, page

12 Table 7 Opinions of cosmetics manufacturers on perfume shops (val. %) ( ) Phenomena Data 2013 Importance of perfume shops Perfume shops 1 Cosmetics manufacturers 2 It is a major channel It is a very important channel It is a reasonably important channel It is a relatively unimportant channel This channel is not important at all Total I agree strongly + I agree somewhat Reasons for the importance of perfume shops 3 Perfume shops can provide personalized counselling services to customers 93.3 Perfume shops can boost customer loyalty 91.7 Perfume shops are widespread across the territory 85.7 Perfume shops raise the professionalism of the cosmetics industry 84.6 Propensity to distribute via perfume shops in the future 4 Much more than today 11.1 Slightly more than today More or less like today 61.1 Slightly less than today 11.1 Total ( ) Cf. Table 8, Part One, page 52. (1) Cf. Table 5, Part Three, page 119. (2) Cf. Table 21, Part Two, page 95 (values exclude companies that do not distribute through perfume shops). (3) Cf. Table 22, Part Two, page 95 (4) Cf. Table 23, Part Two, page 96 (values exclude companies that do not distribute through perfume shops). 12

13 Table 8 Businesses interest in proposals to promote business growth Proposals I agree strongly + I agree somewhat SUPPORT FOR INTERNATIONALIZATION Regulatory activities Expansion of efforts to control and crack-down on counterfeit goods and/or illegally imported goods 80.0 Greater standardization of regulations governing the cosmetics industry across the world, so as to ensure fair competition 77.8 Promotion of trade reciprocity so as to reduce customs barriers between countries (especially with the Far East, the Middle East and Brazil) 71.1 Strengthening the competitiveness of businesses Specific support for the internationalization of Italian businesses in geographically distant countries and/or those most difficult to penetrate, through the specific promotion of Made in Italy cosmetics 75.6 Promotion and specific support for potential broad-based alliances between the cosmetics industry, the fashion industry and other sectors that make up the backbone and image of Italy (such as food, art, culture, etc.) 68.9 Specific support for the creation of business alliances to raise visibility on foreign markets (for the organization of trade shows, show rooms, workshops, and so on) 60.0 Certain estimates of the funds to be allocated from year to year for the aforementioned activities 62.3 Fine-tuning of ICE initiatives so as to focus available funding on key countries for Italian exports 51.1 LEGISLATIVE REFORMS Determination of the effective applicability and budget coverage of reforms introduced by the previous government to reduce the tax wedge on the cost of labour 75.6 Support for major changes to labour market entry flexibility provisions, within the framework of the new government s labour policies 68.9 Determination of the effective applicability and budget coverage of laws which exempt profits reinvested in research and development from taxation 66.7 Determination of the effective applicability and budget coverage of laws encouraging the capitalization of companies 53.3 Determination of the effective applicability and budget coverage of laws introduced by the previous government designed to simplify business combinations by removing excessive barriers and/or bureaucratic red tape 51.1 INITIATIVES BY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS Launch of a project targeted specifically at young people to inform them and their families of vocational opportunities in the cosmetics industry 80.0 Launch of a project to promote a greater understanding of e-commerce by businesses (also because e-commerce is now a standard part of multichannel marketing) 75.6 Launch of a project to raise the standards of perfume shops by providing information, training and support for the generational handover of management and to improve business management 53.3 Launch of a project to raise the qualifications of hairdressers and beauticians by providing information and training (including programs funded by industry associations) 40.0 Launch of a project to improve the standards of sub-contractors

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