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Monday, August 31, 1998

Lever's Domex pulls ahead of rivals in floor-cleaner market 

Namrata Singh  
MUMBAI, August 30: Hindustan Lever (HLL) has carved a dominant position in the branded specialist floor cleaners market with a total market share of 75 per cent with its brands Domex all purpose disinfectant cleaner and Domex phenolic.

The size of the branded specialist floor-cleaners market has grown 7 times to 236 tonnes in May 1998 from 39 tonnes in May 1997. The large branded players are three: Domex, Lizol and Brisk.

With the lead that the total Domex range has taken over competitor brands, Reckitt & Colman's Lizol which was launched before Domex has shed market share to 22 per cent as on May 1998, from 44 per cent in April last year, according to ORG urban estimates.

Lizol, launched in the beginning of 1997, had in fact appreciated its share from 13 per cent in February 1997 to 44 per cent in a month.

Domex all purpose was launched in March last year and garnered a chunk of 23 per cent share by May. The month of August saw the market shares of Lizol and Domex equalise at around 38 per cent, and September onwards the two brands parted ways with the Domex share pointing northwards.

Another brand, Brisk of Henkel, which dominated the scene much before HLL and Reckitt came into the picture, has lost out heavily and cast off market share to as low as three per cent in May 1998 from 60 per cent in February last year.

Industry observers said that the lack of initiative to aggressively advertise led to Brisk losing out to Domex and Lizol. Domex's ascent is also because Levers timely launched a phenolic variant called Domex Phenolic in October last year which has added value to the overall market share of Domex. For Domex says HLL's marketing manager Sanjay Saigal, ``repeat purchase has been high at 30-50 per cent.''

Even though Lizol had the first mover advantage over Domex which was launched later, in the long run it is difficult to pick up volumes in the absence of a variant which complements the existing brand, said a marketing consultant.

The market share of Domex Phenolic has risen from five per cent in November to 38 per cent in May this year. Domex Phenolic has not really cannibalised on domex all-purpose, feels Saigal.

The total market of branded floor cleaners is estimated at Rs 100 crore, with volumes of 236 tonnes as on May 1998. Phenyls constitute around 50-60 per cent of the market. It was after HLL launched Domex Phenolic in October that its total market share improved to take a good lead ahead of competitor brand Lizol. The proxy market is also huge and a distinct shift has been noticed towards the consumption of branded products. Since the demarcation between a surface cleaner or a floor clear or toilet cleaner was not well defined in the past, with most of the proxy products doubling up for all purpose use, the estimation of the total market volume is vague.

Copyright © 1998 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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