Men targeted by global beauty brands

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Indy Lifestyle Online

As trend forecasters have been predicting for a while now, beauty brands around the world are beginning to roll out their men-specific product ranges.

Shanghai-based research firm Ifop Asia said in November that sales of men's skincare products were expected to grow by more than a quarter for 2009. They also said that for 2010, China's total sales of men's skincare products would rise to approximately $570 million. (Japan's men, by comparison, consumed $196 million in beauty products in 2008, according to Business Week, a 17-percent rise from the previous year.)

"In the foreseeable future, men will be the source of the next growth in the Chinese skincare market," they stated, adding that "men realize that good looks will help in various aspects of their personal and professional life."

It seems as if international brands are realizing the potential of this 'new' market after focusing on teen product ranges for the past few years. One example is the newly launched website, athisbest.com (a division of drugstore.com), which sells a selection of men's grooming, health, home, fitness, sex and personal care products.

US-based retailers including department store Target and Rite Aid pharmacies have also recently introduced designated areas in their beauty departments, while supermarket chain HEB collaborated with beauty manufacturer Procter & Gamble for its so-called Men's Zones, and grooming brand Axe debuted a men's beauty lounge at a Miami nightclub last week.

"Increasingly in the U.S. market, we are seeing men take a stronger interest in products that help them look better and stay healthier," said Karen Grant, vice president and global beauty analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. "Men also want to shop in a place that's designed for men - they don't want to browse through women's products to find what they want to buy."

On a similar note, men's plastic surgeries in the US have also been rising, with 220,000 procedures (of a total 1.7 million) performed in 2008.

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