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Consumers ‘makeover’ beauty buying behaviors

BY Antoinette Alexander

Consumers are changing the way they shop in today’s turbulent economy, and the beauty aisle is no exception. Fortunately for mass-market retailers, this new consumer mindset could mean inflated beauty sales, as shoppers scale back on pricey salon services and expensive products sold at department stores and high-end specialty shops.

“Women will always want to look great and not spend a lot to do so—especially now, as more women are tightening their pocketbooks,” stated Jeannette McClennan, CEO of DailyMakeover.com, a Web site that offers virtual try-on technology and content for personalized makeovers.

To get a better sense of just how the economy is impacting beauty spending, the site in March conducted an online survey of 450 women. In conjunction with the survey, DailyMakeover.com also introduced a new blog, dubbed Beauty on a Dime, for tips and information on how women can manage their beauty regimes on a budget.

As expected, many of the survey respondents indicated that they have changed beauty brands in favor of cheaper alternatives and are cutting back—if not eliminating—pricey salon services and turning to at-home solutions.

Nearly half (47%) of the women surveyed said they already had changed brands of particular beauty products to save money; nearly two-thirds of women ages 45 to 54 said they already had changed brands. The survey also found that 73% of respondents said they would change lipstick, and 66% said they would change shampoo and/or conditioner. Other items included: blush/bronzer (67%), lotions/cleansers (64%) and foundation (57%).

The findings also indicated that salon services are taking a hit, with more than half (55%) spending less on such professional salon services as haircuts, coloring and waxing. Meanwhile, a vast majority of respondents (86%) said they would forgo professional manicures and pedicures to save money. This trend already has been witnessed in the mass market, as several segments of the nail care market are experiencing an upswing, including nail color—a segment that has seen its share of hardships in years past.

Mass market manufacturers certainly are taking notice and, as previously reported by Drug Store News, have introduced several new products for 2009, including Coty Inc.’s Sally Hansen, which has developed several new nail color and nail treatment products.

The artificial nail segment also is seeing a flurry of activity, as Pacific World works to simplify the artificial nail category through a restaging of its Nailene brand, and Kiss Products launches for 2009 its new Everlasting French Nail Kits, which read “Better Than Salon Nails” right on the box.

The survey also found that nearly half of respondents said they will likely color their own hair to save money; nearly a quarter of the women who responded will not likely give up their professional colors.

The findings are in line with the salon industry’s findings. Some key trends currently taking place within the salon industry, according to the Professional Beauty Association, a nonprofit trade association that represents the interests of the professional beauty industry from manufacturers and distributors to salons and spas, include:

More consumers are opting to do their own nails or alternating at-home and professional manicures/pedicures;

Longer periods between haircuts and coloring appointments;

Consumers are coloring their own hair, but returning to their regular professional stylist for haircuts; and

Non-core luxuries, such as facials and massages, are seeing the greatest drop in demand.

However, it is important that mass-market beauty retailers not rest on their laurels as the salon industry is taking steps to respond to the recession.

The PBA stated that many salons are implementing initiatives to buck the trends, including greater price promotions on products and a renewed interest in managing the salon’s retail offerings; working with product manufacturers and distributors to create new incentives on products; and re-examining marketing programs and incentives offered to clients.

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Kroger to serve as exclusive supermarket sponsor of Fiesta Atlanta ’09

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA Kroger will serve as the exclusive supermarket sponsor of Fiesta Atlanta ’09, an outdoor Cinco de Mayo festival celebrating Latino culture, music and food.

Fiesta Atlanta ’09 takes place on Sunday, May 3 at Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. For Kroger, the partnership represents the company’s commitment to the Hispanic community.

“We are very excited and looking forward to Fiesta Atlanta,” said Glynn Jenkins, director of communications and public relations for Kroger’s Atlanta Division. “Kroger has always made exceptional efforts to serve the Hispanic community and joining this celebration is another commitment to our Hispanic customers.”

Atlanta’s largest Hispanic outdoor family festival, Fiesta Atlanta attracted over 40,000 attendees last year. This year’s event will once again feature authentic food from many Latin-American countries, arts and crafts, sponsor displays with many free product samples and continuous live musical performances by national and local recording artists.

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AARP cites big jump in Rx prices

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK A report by AARP indicated that prices for branded drugs have increased at a rate outpacing the rate of inflation by more than six percentage points.

 

The report found that manufacturers’ prices for branded drugs increased by 9% last year, compared with the general inflation rate of 3.8%. Meanwhile, prices of generic drugs decreased, on average, by 10.6%.

 

 

Generic drugs have already grown significantly over the years, accounting for 69% of all prescriptions dispensed in the United States, but 16% of money spent on prescriptions, according to IMS Health. In 2007, according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the average price of a generic prescription drug was $34.34, compared to $119.51 for a branded drug.

 

 

Price increases for branded drugs significantly higher than the overall rate of inflation, mixed with the recession, are likely to drive more consumers to generics. According to AARP, nearly a quarter of all older Americans skip medication doses because of the cost, while other studies have shown that many Americans facing economic hardship don’t have prescriptions filled at all.

 

 

At the same time, many branded pharmaceutical drugs – not to mention biologics – don’t yet have a generic version. This could create difficulties for elderly and other patients who may be able switch to medications that are cheaper, but different from what they take, or who take biologic drugs or newer drugs that have no equivalent on the market.

 

 

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association said the report indicated that generic medicines are “the right choice for better health.”

 

 

“During these difficult economic times, it is truly disturbing to hear reports that our nation’s seniors cannot afford their prescription drug costs,” GPhA president and CEO Kathleen Jaeger said in a statement responding to the report. “No one should be forced to choose between putting food on their table and paying for needed medicines.”

 

 

Jaeger also said the report illustrated the need for a regulatory pathway for biosimilars.

 

 

“It’s time to do right by our seniors and all Americans struggling with healthcare costs by approving legislation that brings safe, effective and affordable biogeneric medicines to patients sooner rather than later,” Jaeger said. “GPhA also strongly believes that increasing funding for FDA would ensure the more timely approval of generic medicines, increasing the opportunity for consumers to save immediately.”

 

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