‘The sales of cosmetics are growing every year – in the last year alone, they increased by 12 per cent at Maxima stores when compared with the year before. People are finding it particularly important to be able to choose from a wide range of products and to buy according to their specific needs: their hair or skin type, their favourite aroma, etc. Previously, customers regarded foreign cosmetics more favourably, but this attitude has changed in recent years, and the demand for Lithuanian-made cosmetic products is increasing,’ observed Vilma Drulienė, Chief Commercial Officer at Maxima.
During the previous year, the range of Lithuanian cosmetic products at Maxima stores grew by approximately a third; while compared to 2016, it increased by almost 50 per cent. This is yet further confirmation that the retail chain is constantly reacting and adapting to the changing needs of its customers and to new trends.
One more change is taking place: cosmetics stores are seeing more male customers. If you think that men do not care as much about the contents and features of these cosmetics, you are wrong. They read the product descriptions just as thoroughly as women did. When reading the labels, customers are looking for clear features and product functions to select the cosmetics that are best suited to their requirements.
‘Previously, it was obvious that most men’s cosmetics were being bought by women for their male partners, while the men paid little attention. Now, men are increasingly likely to show an interest in the kind of products they need. Of course, they often discuss these matters with their girlfriends or wives, but more and more often it’s the men themselves who are making the decisions. Overall, the issues of individualism and personal needs are becoming increasingly relevant. Since all people are different, their skin is also different, so both men and women want to understand the true needs of their skin and hair type. What is relevant to them is what specific products they need the most and what is best suited to their skin or hair,’ said Justė Pinkevičienė, Chief Marketing Officer of the Lithuanian cosmetics manufacturer Cosmoway.
In this respect, the Lithuanian manufacturers have a big advantage over their foreign competitors, because a local manufacturer better understands the needs of the local people, as well as knowing about the specific culture, and the changing weather conditions. Analysing these factors is the first step in creating any cosmetic product, and only then should it be followed by meetings with laboratory specialists, discussions on the potential contents of the product, and testing of the first samples by a specially selected group of people. Again, if the products are produced in Lithuania, they can also be tested in our country under the local living conditions.
Mrs. Pinkevičienė added that, in the competition with large international companies, the crucial factor for the success of smaller manufacturers is their reputation. As a result, product manufacturing and development take a lot of time and resources. Furthermore, when a product is introduced to the market, it is only the beginning of its ‘life’, and the customers tend to be interested in all sorts of things.
‘The openness of a cosmetics manufacturer to customer enquiries is especially important, and this trend is found not only in Lithuania but throughout Europe. There are people who want to contact the manufacturer with various questions, to analyse the complex contents of cosmetic products, or to read and look for information online. A local manufacturer again has an advantage in this respect, since it can communicate with the end customer more closely,’ said the Cosmoway representative.
According to Mrs. Pinkevičienė, the long-standing mistaken belief that foreign cosmetic products are better is fading away. When choosing cosmetics, people are considering various aspects: whether high-quality materials were used in making the product, if it has a pleasant aroma, attractive and convenient packaging, and finally, whether its name has pleasant associations.
The strengths of the traditional Lithuanian retail chain ‘Maxima’ are low prices and a wide choice of Lithuanian goods in particular. The managing company ‘Maxima LT’ is the largest Lithuanian capital company, as well as one of the largest taxpayers that also provides the highest number of job places in the country. Currently, there are nearly two hundred and fifty ‘Maxima’ shops operating in Lithuania with about 15 thousand employees. More than 550 thousand buyers visits it daily.