In terms of overall value, Russia is the major Eastern European market for many cosmetics firms, though Poland, with Ukraine at its heels, is currently in second place. The beauty sector in Poland, with a population of 38 million, was forecast to be worth $3.3 billion in 2008 by Euromonitor, while per-capita spending was at $88.
Poland is a market that’s growing rapidly: According to Grupa Kolastyna, which owns popular brands including Miraculum and Paloma, body care grew 19 percent in 2007, while face care expanded 13 percent.
As in Ukraine, direct selling ranks highly—Avon is one of the most popular companies—while products by manufacturers Procter & Gamble and Coty are also top sellers.
The country is bracing for the credit crunch. “Even if the crisis isn’t that drastic here yet, sooner or later it will also come to Poland,” says Tomasz Mursas, the general manager of Avon in Poland. “People will start spending their money in a smarter way.” Mursas suggests that direct selling will increase in popularity as the economic situation worsens, because it’s “a source of additional income without any special entry conditions” for sellers.