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Buying cosmetics at the supermarket more popular than ever

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2009 – June 2014 (average yearly sample n=5,562).Base: Australian women 14+ who bought cosmetics in the last 6 months.

Fruit, veg, cheese, milk, bread — cosmetics? For more than one quarter of the 4,791,000 Australian women 14+ who bought make-up in the last six months, the supermarket is where they did it, popping it in their shopping trolley just like any other grocery item. The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal the diverse places Aussie women purchase their cosmetics.

In the year to June 2014, 25.6% of women bought their make-up from a supermarket in any given six-month period, while one in every five (20.0%) purchased theirs from a chemist. Both figures are up on the same time in 2010: supermarkets, especially, have made strong inroads over the last four years (up from 20.9%).

Incidence of make-up shopping at discount stores such as Target, Big W and Kmart has declined in this time (from 14.1% to 12.0%), as has the percentage of women buying their cosmetics at Priceline stores in an average six months (from 15.4% to 13.6%).


Where Australian women buy their make-up


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2009 – June 2014 (average yearly sample n=5,562).Base: Australian women 14+ who bought cosmetics in the last 6 months.

At 11.8%, the proportion of women who buy their make-up at Myer is the highest it has been since May 2011. David Jones, meanwhile, remains static around the 5% mark.

Geoffrey Smith, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Although it might at first glance seem odd, supermarkets have been the leading channel for purchasing cosmetics for more than a decade. For women with busy lifestyles and multiple commitments, buying their make-up at the same place as their groceries cuts out the need for a separate visit to another shop and saves them precious time.

“Accounting for the vast majority of women who buy their cosmetics at the supermarket, Woolworths and Coles stock a wide range of stores’-own and big-name brands. Both chains stock Covergirl and Rimmel cosmetics as well as Australia’s top-selling make-up brand, Maybelline. Coles also offers a selection from upcoming Aussie brand Nude by Nature, while Woollies has cult brand ModelCo.

“Myer is attracting a higher proportion of make-up shoppers than it has for some time; in fact, Myer CEO Bernie Brookes recently identified cosmetics as one of the department store’s strongest categories.

“Bearing in mind that value for money is the factor most women consider important when buying make-up, retailers that offer cosmetics at a reasonable price have the advantage in this crowded and competitive market.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%