Covid impact: DIY products a hit in these home grooming times

By: |
June 14, 2020 4:15 AM

Grooming products join the list, as consumers restricted at home have been opting for grooming products to cope with the ‘new normal’.

Inaccessibility to salon services during the lockdown period of over two months also fuelled this trend.

We have seen an unprecedented demand for products like sanitisers and other essentials during this pandemic. Grooming products join the list, as consumers restricted at home have been opting for grooming products to cope with the ‘new normal’. Inaccessibility to salon services during the lockdown period of over two months also fuelled this trend.

E-commerce marketplaces Amazon and Flipkart have seen demand double for some grooming products during recent months as compared to the pre-Covid times. Besides hair grooming products, the surge has also been witnessed for products like pedicure and manicure kits and facial kits.

“The most interesting trend has been on hair clippers. It was almost an unknown concept in India, but given the current situation, we have witnessed its sales grow by over seven times, as customers are now using it to cut hair at home,” says an Amazon India spokesperson.

Flipkart has witnessed this trend pan-India and is seeing increased demand from smaller towns too. “Along with metros, non-metros such as Indore, Ahmedabad and Dispur have shown increased affinity towards personal grooming products, with almost two-fold increase in the searches,” says a Flipkart spokesperson. The company has also seen consumers increasingly buying complete trimmer kits for grooming, including body grooming and nose grooming.

Marketplaces also report that consumers are buying these products from across price segments and they are less brand-conscious and more feature-conscious.

The uptick is not limited to online channels; offline stores, too, witnessed the uptick in demand, especially during the period when non-essentials were not allowed to be sold
on e-commerce.

“Usually we get about 45% of our demand from e-commerce, but in the month of May we saw a shift towards offline,” says Ravindra Singh Negi, president, electrical consumer durables, Havells India. The company has seen sales of its trimmers grow by over five times in recent months as compared to the pre-Covid period.
Philips, which saw a 45-50% surge in demand for its grooming products for men and women in May, has seen a distributed growth across channels.

Both the companies now plan to tap this growth in demand by launching new products in this category going ahead.
Experts, however, are of the view that the trend is not sustainable and consumers might go back to salons over time.

“We already had plans to introduce a new range of shavers, epilators, trimmers and hair dryers with innovative features, but now we have accelerated a few products slotted for 2021 and might introduce them in the July-September quarter,” says Gulbahar Taurani, vice-president, personal health, Philips Indian Subcontinent.

Experts, however, are of the view that the trend is not sustainable and consumers might go back to salons over time.
“Consumers are seeking an alternative right now as they are constrained. While they might be able to manage a haircut at home now, it still requires expertise and hence salons will not lose relevance,” says Ankur Bisen, senior vice-president, retail and consumer products, Technopak.

Anurag Mathur, head, retail and partner, PwC, is of the opinion that despite the spike in demand for these products, the industry might lose out on sales.

“Personal grooming has been one of the fastest growing categories in recent years, but a large chunk of it can be attributed to occasions when people want to look good. Now those occasions have come down and hence the entire market will be hit,” he adds.

The personal care market, which is valued at Rs 60,400 crore in India according to Nielsen, had been on a high growth trajectory in the pre-Covid times. As per experts, the industry was growing at a rate of 12-14%. Nielsen projects men’s grooming to be a Rs 5,000-crore market in India, which saw a growth of 12.3% in 2019 as compared to 2018. Personal care appliances such as shavers, epilators and trimmers are not included in the data and experts project these products to have a very small share in the appliance and consumer electronics market.

Do you know What is Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), Finance Bill, Fiscal Policy in India, Expenditure Budget, Customs Duty? FE Knowledge Desk explains each of these and more in detail at Financial Express Explained. Also get Live BSE/NSE Stock Prices, latest NAV of Mutual Funds, Best equity funds, Top Gainers, Top Losers on Financial Express. Don’t forget to try our free Income Tax Calculator tool.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Income Tax Dept to validate UDIN given by chartered accountants in tax audit reports
2G20 must lead world by addressing climate change, working towards universal healthcare: Suresh Prabhu
3India poised to play leading role in global arena in post-COVID era, says Union Minister Jitendra Singh