The Chinese cosmetics industry is one of the most promising fields of business in China for the near future. Consumer demographics are shifting towards a younger, more affluent segment with an increased sense for luxury goods such as beauty and care products. The retail trade revenue of cosmetics in China grew from 19.5 billion yuan in March 2016 to 21.49 billion yuan in March 2017. The retail price of cosmetic products in the Chinese market is subject to strong fluctuation. Unit prices for high-end premium lipsticks sold in China ranged at around 99 U.S. dollars, while high-end premium eye shadow products were sold for around 84 U.S. dollars each.
In the past few years, the market for cosmetic products in China has seen steady development. By the end of 2014, the cosmetics market in China was highly concentrated. In several subcategory markets, the leading ten cosmetics brands had a combined market share of 50 percent and above. Multinational players continue to dominate the cosmetics market in China, with nine out of the top 10 players being foreign companies. The top three players, Procter & Gamble (P&G) from the United States, L’Oreal from France and Shiseido from Japan, took up 25.3% of the overall value sales on the Chinese beauty and personal care market in 2014.
Among other distribution channels, online distribution has developed quickly over the last several years. The sales of cosmetic on online shops in China had amounted to around 124 billion yuan by 2015, with a growth rate of 25.2 percent compared to the previous year. This rapid increase was paralleled by a sharp decline in department store sales, a strong hint that Chinese consumers of cosmetic products are putting growing emphasis on online retailing channels.
In terms of international trade, China had exported cosmetic products with an overall value of 366 million U.S. dollars to Singapore, which was three million U.S. dollars more than the amount China had exported to Malaysia in 2015. In comparison, the value of personal care and cosmetics products imported to China from the United States amounted to about 393 million U.S. dollars in 2015. In the same year, Japan became China’s biggest personal care and cosmetic products supplier.
A major trend in the sector is the ‘for men’ segment. A study on personal grooming conducted in 2015 revealed that the average weekly time spent on personal grooming by Chinese men was around 2.2 hours in 2015, while Chinese women needed about 3.8 hours on average.
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