With 1,022 exhibitors (+10% compared to the previous year) and an increase of 11% of the exhibition area, the InterCharm Moscow trade show continues to benefit from the growth of the Russian cosmetics market. A total of more than 3,500 brands from 32 countries were showcased this year. According to organizers, the 2013 edition, which was held from November 27 to 30, welcomed 67,382 visitors, an increase of 9% compared to 2012. Let’s remind that 20 years ago, the Russian cosmetics market was still to build. In 1994, the first edition of InterCharm was launched and gathered… 76 exhibitors.

Promising market

The Russian market has recovered from the various crises. Today it is the ninth global market for consumer goods and should be ranked 4th in 2020. The large urban population (over 12 million inhabitants in Moscow and 14 other cities with over one million citizens) has been a strong propeller of the consumers’ demand.

According to Euromonitor, the Russian beauty market grew to an estimated USD 13.9 billion (EUR 10.14 billion) in 2012, compared to USD 13.5 billion (EUR 9,85 billion) in 2011 and is forecasted to reach USD 15.6 billion (EUR 11,4 billion) in 2015. Main segments of the market are fragrances (23%), skin care (22.6%), hair care (19.2%) and make-up (15.4%). The Russian cosmetics market ranks 5th in Europe, after France, Germany, the UK and Italy.

Despite this dynamism, the Russian market is everything but easy. There is a strong competition, with a strong presence of multinational companies. According to Euromonitor, 70% of the market belongs to 40 companies.

Furthermore, the retail side tend to be increasingly concentrated, in particular with three major networks that dominate the selective distribution (L’Etoile, Rive Gauche, and Ile de Beauté). This is particularly true in Moscow and St. Petersburg but the chains are extending their networks at nationally.

Premium cosmetics

Actually, a major part of the future growth should come from the premium cosmetics segment, in particular with increased sales in the regions (beyond Moscow and Saint-Petersburg) boosted by online boutiques.

From this point of view, a quick tour Moscow’s main outlets may be enough to convince to how the market has rapidly diversified to highlight the most advanced products. The organizers of InterCharm have also understood it very well and thus have created an area entirely dedicated to rare and high quality brands. Under the name “La Niche”, this area hosted perfume brands such as Mark Buxton, Parfumerie Générale Pierre Guillaume, Huitème Art, Phaedon Laboratorio Olfattivo, Scultures Olfactives or Mona di Orio, and also skin care lines such as UNA skincare, Soley Organic or Swisscode Bionic.

With a relatively short record on the Russian market, niche perfumery and cosmetics didn’t wait long to find their loyal admirers,” the show organisers highlight.

Asian brands

Nevertheless, most of the InterCharm tradeshow is still devoted to professional retail networks (hair and beauty salons). "The professional market and home consumption are overlapping in Russia," explains Anna Dycheva, Assistant Director of InterCharm. “Many consumers prefer to buy products from a professional in whose knowledge they trust.” On this segment, the strength of European brands, including Italian, French and Spanish, is obvious.

As far as the retail segment is concerned, there is a strong participation of Japanese exhibitors in the show, and of Korean, to a lesser extent. Similarly, Japanese cosmetic brands, and some Korean, also seem to hold strong positions in Moscow’s beauty outlets.

Russian women are known to value very highly European cosmetics, in particular from France, Switzerland or Italy, but the demand for Japanese cosmetics is rapidly increasing,” says Anna Dycheva. “Consumers perceive these products as 100% safe and 100% effective, and based on sound scientific research.

Just like Russia, InterCharm appears as a crossroads between the European and the Asian cosmetic offers.