Walmart Dominates $40B Personal Care Market: TABS Analytics

Walmart leads all retailers with a 19.4 percent share of all purchases in the $40 billion personal care market, according to the findings of TABS Analytics’ first-ever personal care study. Traditional food stores --such as Kroger and Publix-- followed closely behind with a 16.6 percent share and Target ranked third, with 12.1 percent share.

Online purchases of personal care products have just a 3.1 percent share – roughly $1.2 billion of the $40 billion personal care market. Generation X (ages 35-44) led all age groups in heavy buying with 37 percent, while Millennials place in a distant second with at 24 percent. Thirty-three percent of Hispanics reported being heavy purchasers of personal care products.

“Walmart, traditional food stores and Target are the clear winners in the personal care market with almost 50 percent of all estimated purchases,” said Dr. Kurt Jetta, CEO and founder of Shelton, Conn.-based TABS Analytics. “Unlike what we see in beauty where online sales is a key driver, online sales in personal care products is relatively unimportant coming in at just 3.1 percent of market share.”

TABS Analytics’ Personal Care Study was developed to determine what types of personal care items consumers are buying, where those items are purchased, how much consumers buy, and how often. One thousand geographically and demographically dispersed general population consumers between the ages of 18 and 75 participated in the survey.

The study analyzed the following seven product categories: haircare, deodorant, personal wash, mouthwash, toothpaste, feminine care, and adult incontinence products. The study was conducted in February 2017.

Eight additional key insights from TABS' personal care retailer study were found:

  • Amazon, and represent 82 percent of online personal care transactions in the $1.2 billion dollar ecommerce market. However, online purchases of personal care products represent just 3.1 percent of all purchases compared to online purchases of beauty products, representing 9 percent of all transactions. Over half of personal care buyers do not buy any personal care products online.
  • CVS, Walgreens, and dollar stores combined have 24.7 percent of all purchases. Forty-four percent of consumers who shop at dollar stores report purchasing personal care value brands.
  • Walmart is underdeveloped among heavy deal buyers while CVS, Walgreens, and dollar stores are overdeveloped. Heavy deal buyers migrate to CVS, Walgreens and dollars for more deals such as circulars and loyalty programs not available at Walmart.
  • Millennial buyers (age 18 to 34) are much less influenced by deal tactics, especially free-standing inserts and circulars. However, among the entire survey sample, 90 percent of all consumers are using at least one deal tactic regularly. Interestingly, shoppers younger than 45 years old are abandoning the use of free standing inserts and circulars. Less affluent shoppers prefer using passive deal tactics such as everyday low prices, large sizes, bonus packs, private label and value brands.
  • Target’s share personal care purchases is dominated by millennials and high income consumers. However, Target is underdeveloped in the largest group of consumers – adults 35-44 (who account for 37 percent of all buyers).
  • Eight percent of consumers purchase organic personal care products. But among heavy personal care buyers, only 16 percent purchase organic personal care products.
  • Personal care consumption peaks among consumers in the $60,000 - $74,000 income range with 26 percent being heavy users. As income goes up, consumption goes down for all incomes above $75,000.
  • Rewards programs outpace circulars at 32 percent compared to 30 percent as a method to get deals in personal care products. This is the first time in nine similar TABS studies that rewards programs outperform circulars as a preferred deal tactic and correlates with CVS and Walgreens offering rewards card programs and attracting high levels of heavy deal shoppers.

Throughout 2017, TABS Analytics will be conducting six studies across the consumer packaged goods industry including personal care, baby, vitamin, food and beverage, household products, and beauty. More information about previous TABS studies is available here.



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