In Belgium, the cosmetics and personal care market amounts to 1.970 billion of euros in 2018 and annual growth is expected to be around 0.8% until 2023. The largest segment of this market is skincare, with a volume of €510 million in 2018 (Source Statista).
Beauty institutes, whether independent or under a brand name, aim to provide aesthetic services such as facial and body beauty treatments, massages, depilations, manicures, pedicures or make-up. Thus, it is possible to distinguish three segments of activity of beauty salons: classic technical procedures (manicure, pedicure, depilation), wellness procedures and finally the sale of care products related to these activities. Thus, the main services offered by beauty salons are:
- Facial care: for example, anti-wrinkle, moisturizing and nourishing, energizing care
- Body care: for example, scrubs and massages, firming care, slimming
- Hair removal
- Beauty: for everyday life or for special events (e. g. weddings)
- Hand and foot beauty: manicure, varnish application, pedicure, filing, sanding
- Others: from electrical appliances or special equipment such as anti-cellulite massages, pulsed light hair removal or UV tanning treatments.
The main customers beauty salons are still today women and male customers focus on two types of offers: massages and facials. Women, on the other hand, are spread over all segments of the services offered by beauty salons, with a majority of women between 25 and 44 years of age for regular visits (mainly hair removal) and a majority of seniors for anti-ageing care.
Competition in the beauty and beauty care market corresponds to a enlargement trend . Indeed, the core business and traditional competition used to be limited to specialized operators (generalized beauty institutes, hair removal specialists or manicure specialists).
The offer has been extended to other establishments, making direct competition to beauty salons : selective perfumeries (which include institutes at their point of sale), hammams, saunas, or massage parlours, thalassotherapy centres, hotel or urban spas or even spa centres.
This competition has gradually been extended to indirect competitors such as department stores, hair salons, tanning centres, slimming institutes and finally beauty centres (mainly offering anti-ageing treatments). Thus, the expansion of the range of offers on offer, whose aesthetic offers accelerate competition on the market.
This market is characterised by a high degree of atomisation due to the low entry barriers, it is divided as follows between the 15,700 institutes in Belgium of which almost half of them are located in the provinces of Antwerp, East and West Flanders.
However, the current trend shows a increasing concentration the offer on entities integrated into networks, thus bringing together the offer on a few players such as Yves Rocher or Body'Minute.
The latter use the franchise model to expand and offer franchisors a very good return on investment thanks to the attractiveness of the sector.
Finally, in recent years, there has been a expansion of the range of offers offered in beauty salons and particularly the increasing complexity of certain hair removal methods (e. g. pulsed light) or skin treatment methods (e. g. cryolipolysis). Indeed, these acts at the border between aesthetic medicine and the beauty institute do not have a strict regulation of their practice, which allows beauticians to practice them, but also to lower prices. For example, the development of the practice of cryolipolysis in institutes competes with aesthetic medicine centres, which offer it for 600 euros against 100 euros in institutes.
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