South-east Asia gains traction

Published: 7-Mar-2014

From economically stable Australia to up and coming Papua New Guinea, the Asia Pacific cosmetics market continues to strengthen. Lee Adendorff reports from Byron Bay, Australia

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Australia’s healthy economy is the envy of most countries in the world. Obviously this boosts the personal care product industry in the country, but there are concerns that retailers and brands are overcharging consumers. Indeed, Australian consumers are paying as much as 50% more for the same cosmetics as US and European consumers, according to a recent investigation by Australia’s consumer organisation Choice.

Kate Browne, a journalist working for the group, says that the research followed numerous complaints about the price Australian consumers pay for cosmetics through the organisation’s social media sites on Facebook and Twitter. “It’s called anecdotally the ‘Australia tax’, where in Australia we pay substantially more for many products – with certain pharmaceutical products, fashion and cosmetics it can be as much as a 200% margin,” she says. “It’s not the fault of Australian retailers, however, as these are prices set by head offices and they basically do it because they can.”

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