In recent years, cosmetics market in Bulgaria has displayed clear-cut trend: pharmacies that are not solely focused on medicines - but also on cosmetic products and specialized advice to customers - are growing their revenues. The sales of cosmetic products by drogeries is growing at the expense of sales of consumer goods, according to market data. In general, offerings of cosmetics is somewhat limited in general stores, whereas the drogeries have come to be specialized in such products. For example, the portfolio of DM Bulgaria, the largest chain in the sector in Bulgaria both in terms of stores and sales, stocks more than 14,000 articles (not only cosmetics).
In rankings of the major retailers of cosmetics and cosmetic products in Bulgaria, DM is first in terms of sales, followed by the Lilly chain, and Avon Cosmetics Bulgaria. Large pharmacy chains come next: Mareshki Pharmacies, Subra, Medea and Remedium. Nuance BG , which operates duty-free shops at the coastal airports of Varna and Burgas, the Elitis stores, and Parfumerie Douglas Bulgaria and its shops Beauty Zone and Douglas also rank amongst Bulgaria's the larger retailers of cosmetics.
Specific characteristics of drogeries
Drogeries stock personal hygiene articles, baby care products, pet supplies, and house detergents as well as health and lifestyle products including organic foodstuffs, juices, and natural cosmetics, food supplements. Market leader DM posits that demand for such products is growing in Bulgaria is growing. "In Bulgaria, like in Central and Western Europe, people shop in deogeries drug stores twice monthly on average. It is mostly women and young mothers that shop in DM. And, or some time now we see increased interest on the part of young men," according DM Bulgaria manager Tsonka Ivanova-Terzieva ."The clients are interested in discounts but what matters to them is to know the product, like it, and be happy with its quality."
She also noted that sales of cosmetic products have been growing, driven by fashion trends and increased perception of cosmetics as necessities.
A lipstick from the pharmacy
Estimates suggest that cosmetic products usually account for 15 to 50% of the total sales of pharmacies. The class of cosmetic products in the medium and high price segments - the so-called dermocosmetics targeting customers with skin problems, sensitive skin and with concern for the skin, babies and children -are available only in the pharmacies. Doctors often prescribe such products and special consultation at the point of sale is advised for most of them. Pharmacists estimate that approximately 40-50% of the sales of dermo-cosmetics in Bulgaria occur Sofia, while the remainder is distributed among the country's other cities. In summers, pharmacies in the coastal vacation areas report high sales.
Pharmacies in Western Europe offer dermo-cosmetics and only a limited range of food supplements. Mass cosmetics fall outside of the range of products they sell. In Bulgaria, the reasons for the sales of dermo-cosmetics in pharmacies include customers' perceptions that pharmacies offer high-quality products. .Sales of cosmetics are a major source of revenue for pharmacies. They account for 15-20% of total sales, approaching 40% for some pharmacies, and have as double as high margins compared to the margins of medicines. "The margins of medicines in pharmacies have been falling in the past five years - from around 9.8% in 2012 to 8.3% on average this year. Nevertheless, prescription medicines retain a share of 70% of sales of the pharmacies, while over-the-counter products - non-prescription medicines, food additives and cosmetics account for 30%. At the same time, the margins in the cosmetics sector stand at 15 to 20%," reports Nikolai Kostov, founder of the Remedium pharmacies, said.