Men’s toiletries is a market that has fascinated manufacturers and retailers for decades. Always on the verge of explosive growth, but never quite achieving it, the men’s grooming market has long been on a slow burn. Here is a category that is quietly getting on with it, largely unaffected by the recent global economic crisis and still able to grow by 7.4% year on year, according to Euromonitor.
So why hasn’t growth been even faster? There are plenty of men’s products adorning the shelves of major retailers, including more sophisticated anti-ageing creams, serums and even face masks. The signs are that men are getting the idea of regular skincare and some are trading up to more premium products. However, a recent market research report into the UK men’s toiletries market by YouGov SixthSense reveals that only 25% of men use facial skincare. Even fewer, just 10%, actually use a daily skincare regime.
The challenge for the men’s grooming market is to get men shopping for themselves. Men are not natural shoppers and, unlike women, do not enjoy browsing once in store. I was told anecdotedly by a retail behavioural specialist that he once witnessed a man lurking behind a pillar in a department store waiting for a consultant to go on their lunch-break before breaking cover to rush in and pick up a product without being hassled. It makes me wonder if this is an everyday occurrence.
The answer seems to lie in relevant products, simple packaging, straightforward product descriptions all displayed without fuss and where men go anyway. How many shops sell men’s grooming products alongside clothing or sunglasses? Gyms and leisure centres, football and golf club shops are all places frequently visited by men, but rarely do you find men’s toiletries on sale. Time for a change?
It seems to me that the industry players are not doing enough to engage men. Perhaps that is why men’s grooming is not growing as fast as it should be.