Brands extend personal care appliances range to tap demand
While adoption of personal care appliances has risen, a sizable number of consumers are yet to get on board.
The past year saw Indian women — known to be reluctant DIY adopters — increasingly seek personal care appliances for their grooming needs. The market, largely driven by hair grooming products such as dryers and styling kits so far, has expanded rather rapidly in the wake of the pandemic. For example, Havells registered a threefold increase in the sale of epilators, compared to the pre-Covid period, while Vega reported a 35% growth in its women’s personal care portfolio between April 2020 and February 2021.
Although the demand for these products has subsided, players in this segment say it is still far higher than the pre-Covid level, and are investing in expanding their product range. In February 2021, Havells introduced a skincare range that includes nail shiners, callus removers, facial hair shavers, pore cleansers, facial cleansers, etc. Vega, which had launched products like three-in-one hair stylers and straightening brushes last year, plans to add 10 more SKUs including products like eyebrow shavers and trimmers for women. Philips, meanwhile, launched products like facial pen trimmers and hair straighteners in July.
The personal care market is valued currently at $11 billion — one third of which is claimed by women’s personal care products — and is expected to grow to $13 billion by 2023, as per industry estimates. Around 50% of sales in the women’s personal care appliances segment is contributed by styling kits (hair straighteners, curlers, etc), and 40% by dryers, analysts estimate.
With salons shut for the most part of 2020, consumers opted to invest in grooming appliances; manufacturers, too, were quick to tap this trend. To increase uptake, Havells launched a campaign called School of Grooming, where it roped in celebrity stylists Jawed Habib and Ambika Pillai to demonstrate its products. The company also undertook cross-promotions with personal care brands Nykaa, L’Oréal and Bombay Shaving Company.
For its newly launched range, Havells is mostly looking at e-commerce and its D2C channel. “About 60% of our sales for the category comes from the digital channels,” says Ravindra Singh Negi, president – electrical consumer durables, Havells. The company has started building its retail presence, and is testing its products in modern trade and medical stores. With products in the range of Rs 1,195-9,995, Havells is targeting a wide age group of consumers: late teens to women in their mid-40s.
Eyeing the same target group, Vega, too, has a digital focus. “We find that consumers are more evolved online, and certain products are only sold through this channel,” says Sandeep Jain, director, Vega Industries. The company is tapping value-conscious consumers and has priced its products in the Rs 750-2,000 range. It has roped in actor Ananya Pandey as its brand ambassador.
While adoption of personal care appliances has risen, a sizable number of consumers are yet to get on board. Experts say this can be largely due to the extensive presence of salons in the country, which offer these services at affordable costs. “India is not a self-reliant market. Since getting beauty treatments done at salons is not expensive, consumers prefer them,” says Shipra Biswas Bhattacharyya, partner, Kearney.
Identifying gaps in the services offered by salons and tailoring products differently could help these brands.
Sanjesh Thakur, partner, Deloitte India, says that to gain scale, these brands would have to get into general trade channels, which entails huge investments.
Experts speculate that the high demand for these products will eventually wane. While consumers may keep these appliances handy for emergency use, they are likely to flock to salons for regular beauty treatments.