Wal-Mart Grabs 20% of $40 Billion Market for Personal Care Products

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U.S. consumers buy $40 billion worth of personal care products such as shampoo, deodorant and toothpaste every year. Nearly one-fifth of those purchases — 19.4% — are made at a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) location. The second-most popular venue to purchase these products is a traditional food store (16.6%), and Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) stores are third with a 12.1% share.

Most of the purchases are made in a brick-and-mortar store; only 3.1% of personal care products are sold online. GenX shoppers make 37% of purchases, followed by millennials who make 24% of all purchases.

The data were reported earlier this week by research firm TABS Analytics, based on a February survey of 1,000 consumers on their purchases of seven types of products: hair care, deodorant, personal wash, mouthwash, toothpaste, feminine care and adult incontinence. Cosmetics and skin care products were not included in the study.

The researchers noted several key findings from the survey:

  • Amazon, Walmart.com and Target.com represent 82 percent of online personal care transactions in the $1.2 billion dollar e-commerce market.
  • CVS, Walgreens, and Dollar Stores combined have 24.7 percent of all purchases.
  • Target’s share [of] personal care purchases is dominated by millennials and high-income consumers.
  • Personal care consumption peaks among consumers in the $60,000 – $74,000 income range with 26 percent being heavy users.

Founder and CEO of TABS Analytics, Dr. Kurt Jetta, said:

Walmart, traditional food stores and Target are the clear winners in the personal care market with almost 50 percent of all estimated purchases. 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.

Online sales of beauty products account for 9% of all sales of cosmetics and skin-care products.

One final note: earlier this year Nielsen published a report on demand for premium products. The survey’s respondents said they would consider buying premium hair-care products (27%), body-care products (26%) and oral-care products (26%).

More details on the TABS Analytics study are available at the company’s website.