It was only a few weeks ago that imported cosmetics brands Lancôme,Clarins and Guerlain announced price hikes, so it was a surprise to some to see these and other top brands putting prices up again more recently, between 5% and 25%.
Product prices at the Hong Kong Estée Lauder special counter rose across the board on 1 August, up 5% to 25%. The price of its red pomegranate facial cleansing milk rose to US$25, increasing 25%; its Time Zone eye cream rose to $49.5, up 10%.
A number of department stores in the Jiefangbei, Yangjiaping and Guanyinqiao commercial districts has received verbal notices that prices would rise.
A salesperson at Estée Lauder’s special counter at the Far Eastern Department Store in Guanyinqiao confirmed that prices of certain cosmetics products would go up due to rising costs of raw materials, labour and transportation.
However, staff still wait for the head office to inform them of the effective date.
Some vendors of Estée Lauder products on Tmall.com have indicated that once the prices of products sold at special counters are raised this month, they’ll also adjust prices offered on Tmall.com and at their shops.
Apart from Estée Lauder, first-line cosmetics brands Lancôme and Clarins also announced at the end of June that their product prices would go up by 5%.
The price of a 30 ml bottle of Lancôme Blanc Expert NeuroWhite rose from Rmb790 to Rmb830.
At the beginning of July, Guerlain announced that prices of cosmetics products under its banner would increase by Rmb10 to Rmb100 per item.
Now, in a matter of a month, imported cosmetics brands are raising their prices again. Some second-line imported brands are also adjusting prices upward.
At some cosmetics shops, the price of DHC‘s 200 ml makeup remover went up from Rmb210 to Rmb218.
The dealers of many cosmetics brands explain that rising raw materials, labour and transportation costs have pushed up product prices.
Some consumers complain that upmarket cosmetics brands take advantage of the insensitivity of high-end consumers towards pricing to make small but frequent price hikes. In fact, the recent price increase is an old marketing trick.
The costs of top-notch cosmetics mainly comprise advertising, promotion, labour and raw materials, with advertising costs taking up about 20% of profit margins.
In recent years, rising promotion costs also spurred the prices of cosmetics in various degrees every year.
In order to occupy the best positions in department stores, leading cosmetics brands have had to pay very high rents on top of other charges payable to the store. All these expenses are eventually carried by the consumer.
from Patrick He, Chengdu Office