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00:22    |    10/03/2010

Online perfume stores take wings on an 8 million internet users market

Expensive or accessible, fresh or sweet, discrete or strong, perfumes cannot miss from anyone’s cosmetics bag, due to the messages they sent to those around, about the personality and mood of the persons who wear them. Few people have yet time to search for the favorite flavor and brand in the traditional perfume shops, so a convenient option would be the online orders. How much confidence Romanians have in the online perfume shops, what advantages and shortcomings this system has, how fast the orders arrive at the destination and how tough is the fight with the grey perfume market, Laurentiu Cenusa, general manager of AORO (  ) explains for Bucharest Herald.

The online perfume market in Romania reached in 2009, 70 million Euro and has a great development potential in a country with over 22 million inhabitants and over 8 million internet users. In full development though, the online and traditional perfume stores that sell original products are suffocated by the “grey” market, of the retailers that, as they do not pay any taxes to the state, have very low prices.

“In 2009 the online perfume market was estimated at 70 million Euro and the market of the fake perfumes stood at 25 million Euro. The estimations seem far from reality, the value of the grey market is probably much higher, but the figure for counterfeit perfumes is worrying.” says Laurentiu Cenusa.

In many cases the perfumes sold on the grey market are counterfeit and people realize later that, although the price of the perfumes they bought were low these were yet very high prices compared with the quality of the products.

In Romania, in the past years, the authorities have identified many transports of large counterfeit perfumes, coming from abroad. Fakes generally come from the Asian countries, such as Turkey, China or the Arab Emirates.  

One of the international brands that had a tough reaction to the counterfeit attempts on the Romanian market, asking for damages around 800,000 Euro is Jean Paul Gautier. The famous fashion designer asked damages from a firm in Sibiu, which was going to sell in Romania over 19,000 bottles of perfume with the official signature of the brand, but which, after the expertise proved to be fake. The perfumes were confiscated by Sibiu Financial Police in November 2009.

Similar cases of counterfeit and smuggling were also discovered by the authorities in other cities of Romania, such as Cluj and Giurgiu, in the previous years.

Poor legislation

Some of the perfumes sold in the online perfume stores can prove to be fake also. This happens generally as, during transport the original bottles in the boxes are replaced with fake bottles. In other cases the perfumes disappear for good and the buyer realizes that he or she has some stones or other objects which can weight as much as a perfume, in the box.  

Abroad the legislation in such cases is very clear and those who sell fakes are punished by the authorities after an expertise. Their sales are either stopped or they receive high fines. In Romania the legislation is very confusing, which is something that encourages, instead of discouraging the illegal sales.  

“The grey market would disappear and these retailers would start selling perfumes legally, if the legislation wouldn’t be so poor. The retailers would learn what paying the VAT and the tax on profit and on logistic means and they wouldn’t afford to sell the products on such low prices anymore.” says Laurentiu Cenusa.

But Laurentiu Cenusa also says that a fake perfume can be recognized quite easily by someone who had the original version also at some point. The wrapping in the case of an original perfume has to be perfect, made of a good material, without erased letters. An original perfume is persistent after being put on, even a few days and even after washing, while the smell of a fake perfume disappears within a few hours. An original perfume is oily as it contains natural oils.  

“Somebody who had an original perfume knows how the box looks like. Some brands have unique elements: either the cardboard is double or it has some inscriptions.  The smell disappears in 5 or 10 minutes in the case of a fake perfume, as the quantity of the essence is reduced or some other ingredients that replace the essence are used.”  

Time and money economy

Time economy and the prices, a few per cents lower than in a traditional perfume shop are the main advantages of this system. Moreover the perfume gets fast to the destination, only two days after being ordered and the transport and the delivery are included in the price.

“The prices of the perfumes sold by AORO are considerably lower than in the traditional stores where the costs of the business are different.  Within the promotions we have, the prices can be over 40 per cent lower than in a traditional perfume store. For instance we’re selling now Hugo Boss No.6 on 159 RON per perfume, and in the traditional perfume stores the same perfume costs between 249 and 285 RON.” says Laurentiu Cenusa.

The lower prices are possible because the owners of the online perfume shops don’t have operational costs with the rent or with the surveillance staff.  

“In Romania there are a lot of thefts in the perfume stores and surveillance and security staff is necessary. We don’t have this problem.” says the manager of AORO.

AORO online perfume shop opened in Romania in November 2009 and is the branch of, designated by Deloitte & Touche the second company active in Europe in online commerce in terms of annual growth rate and the first online perfume shop, in terms of number of orders, with over 80,000 orders monthly within the whole network.  

“The opening is part of an expansion process of the network in Romania, Ukraine and Russia, as last year the chain was only present in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Austria and Hungary.” says Cenusa.

Another advantage is the fact that the website of an online perfume shop always includes more perfumes than the stock of a traditional perfume store could have.

In terms of brands, in Romania Calvin Klein, Bvlgari, Hugo Boss and Elisabeth Arden are the best selling brands, according to Cenusa. In terms of customers, women represent 60% of the buyers. The customers are usually internet users, with ages between 25 and 40 who have permanent access to this type of information.

Smell challenge

A major issue for the buyer is yet the fact that the purchased perfume cannot be smelled. So the options are limited to the perfumes the smell of which he or she already knows or to the feedback  received from other buyers, who generally write their opinions on the quality and features of the perfumes they bought, on the websites of the online perfume stores.

“Many potential buyers access AORO website and read the opinions of those who already bought perfumes from us several times and were satisfied. This helps them decide on the perfume they want to buy.” explains Laurentiu Cenusa.

There are also cases when the buyers are not aware of this risk and, unsatisfied with the perfume they ordered, refuse to pay the product on delivery. The perfume can be returned within 14 days from delivery, but only if the box was not opened. Otherwise it can no longer be returned as the perfume store suffers transport expense losses.

Parfumeriile online prind aripi pe o piata cu 8 milioane de utilizatori de internet

Scumpe sau accesibile, fresh sau dulci, discrete sau puternice, parfumurile nu pot lipsi din arsenalul de cosmetice al nimanui, datorita mesajului pe care il transmit celor din jur, referitor la personalitatea si starea de spirit a purtatorului. Putini au insa timp sa colinde parfumeriile in cautarea aromei si marcii favorite, asa ca apeleaza la o varianta mult mai convenabila: comenzile pe internet. Cata incredere au romanii in parfumeriile online, ce avantaje si ce dezavantaje are acest sistem, cat de repede ajung comenzile la destinatie si cat de dura este lupta cu piata gri a parfumurilor, explica pentru Bucharest Herald, Laurentiu Cenusa, manager general al AORO (  )

Piata parfumurilor online din Romania a atins in 2009 valoare de 70 de milioane de Euro si are un potential de dezvoltare foarte mare, intr-o tara cu o populatie de peste 22 de milioane de locuitori si peste 8 milioane de utilizatori de internet. In plin avant insa, parfumeriile online si cele traditionale, care vand produse originale, sunt sufocate de piata “gri”, a comerciantilor care, pentru ca nu platesc niciun fel de taxe la stat au preturi mai mici.

“In 2009 piata parfumurilor vandute online a fost estimata la 70 de milioane de Euro, iar piata parfumurilor falsificate, la 25 de milioane de Euro. Estimarile par departe de realitate, valoarea pietei “gri” este probabil mult mai mare, insa ingrijoratoare este cifra estimata pentru piata produselor contrafacute.” spune Laurentiu Cenusa.

In multe cazuri parfumurile comercializate pe piata gri sunt contrafacute, iar oamenii realizeaza ulterior ca desi pretul parfumului a fost mic, este totusi un pret foarte mare in raport cu calitatea.

In Romania, in ultimii ani, autoritatile au identificat multe transporturi cu cantitati mari de parfumuri contrafacute, provenite din strainatate. Falsurile vin in general din tari asiatice precum Turcia, China sau Emiratele Arabe.

Una dintre firmele de talie internationala care au reactionat dur la incercarile  de contrafacere de pe piata romaneasca, cerand despagubiri de aproximativ 800.000 de Euro este Jean Paul Gautier. Celebrul creator de modă a cerut  despăgubiri de la o firmă din Sibiu care urma sa comercializeze in Romania peste 19.000 de sticle de parfum cu însemnele oficiale ale firmei, dar care, în urma unei expertize, s-au dovedit a fi contrafăcute. Parfumurile au fost confiscate de Garda Financiara Sibiu in noiembrie 2009.

Cazuri similare de contrafacere si contrabanda au fost descoperite de autoritati si in alte orase din Romania, precum Cluj si Giurgiu, in anii precedenti.

Legislatie rudimentara

Si unele dintre parfumurile vandute prin intermediul parfumeriilor online se pot dovedi a fi falsuri. Lucrul acesta se intampla, in general, pentru ca in timpul transportului sticlutele originale din cutie sunt inlocuite cu falsuri. In alte cazuri parfumurile dispar de tot si cumparatorul poate realiza ca are in cutie niste pietre, sau alte obiecte care pot cantari cat un parfum.

In strainatate legislatia in aceste cazuri este foarte bine pusa la punct, iar cei care vand falsuri sunt aspru sanctionati de autoritati dupa o expertiza, fie prin sistarea activitatii, fie prin amenzi usturatoare. In Romania insa legislatia nu este deloc clara, penalitatile sunt inexistente, lucru care favorizeaza vanzarile ilegale, in loc sa le descurajeze.

“Piata gri ar disparea si acesti comercianti ar intra in legalitate, daca legislatia nu ar fi atat de rudimentara. Comerciantii ar invata ce inseamna sa plateasca TVA, impozit pe profit si taxa pe transport si logistica, si nu si-ar mai putea permite sa vanda produse atat de ieftine.” spune Laurentiu Cenusa.

Laurentiu Cenusa spune insa ca un parfum fals poate fi recunoscut destul de usor de cineva care a avut la un moment dat si varianta sa originala. Ambalajul, in cazul unui parfum original, trebuie sa fie impecabil, dintr-un material de buna calitate, fara litere sterse. Un parfum original persista dupa aplicare si cateva zile si chiar dupa spalare, in timp ce mirosul unui parfum contrafacut dispare dupa cateva ore. Un parfum original este uleios si atunci cand este pulverizat pe sticla nu se prelinge datorita uleiurilor naturale pe care le contine.

“Cine a avut un parfum original stie cum arata cutia. Anumite marci au elemente unice de recunoastere: fie cartonul este plastifiat sau dublu, fie are anumite inscriptii. Mirosul dispare dupa 5- 10 minute in cazul unui parfum falsificat, pentru ca in compozitia lui se folosesc substituenti, sau se diminueaza cantitatea de esente.”

Economie de timp…si bani

Economia de timp si preturile cu cateva procente mai mici decat cele dintr-o parfumerie traditionala, sunt principalele avantaje ale acestui sistem. In plus parfumul ajunge relativ rapid la destinatie,  la doua zile din momentul in care a fost comandat, iar transportul si livrarea sunt incluse in pret.

“Preturile parfumurilor comercializate de Aoro sunt considerabil mai mici decat in magazinele traditionale, unde costurile afacerii sunt diferite. In cadrul promotiilor pe care le avem, preturile pot fi cu peste 40% mai mici decat intr-o parfumerie traditionala. Spre exemplu acum videm Hugo Boss No.6 cu 159 de RON, iar in parfumerii acelasi parfum  costa intre 249 si 285 de RON.” spune Laurentiu Cenusa.

Preturile mai mici sunt posibile tocmai pentru ca proprietarii parfumeriilor online nu au costuri operationale cu chiria sau personalul de supraveghere.

“In Romania sunt multe furturi in parfumerii si este nevoie de personal de supraveghere si securitate. Noi nu avem aceasta problema.” spune directorul AORO.

Parfumeria AORO a fost deschisa in Romania in noiembrie 2009 si este filiala, desemnata de Deloitte & Touche a doua companie care activeaza in Europa in comertul electronic in ceea ce priveste rata de crestere anuala si prima parfumerie online, in functie de numarul de comenzi, cu peste 80.000 comenzi lunare la nivelul intregii retele.

“Deschiderea face parte dintr-un proces de expansiune al lantului in Romania, Ucraina si Rusia, pentru ca pana anul trecut lantul era prezent doar in Cehia, Slovacia, Germania, Austria si Ungaria.” spune Cenusa.

Un alt avantaj este faptul ca pe site-ul unei parfumerii online se gasesc intotdeauna mult mai multe parfumuri decat poate cuprinde stocul parfumerie traditionale.

La capitolul marci, in Romania se vand cel mai bine parfumurile Calvin Klein, Bvlgari, Hugo Boss si Elisabeth Arden, potrivit lui Cenusa. In ceea ce priveste clientii, femeile reprezinta 60% din cumparatori. Clientii sunt in special utilizatori de internet, cu varste cuprinse intre 25 si 40 de ani, care au permanent acces la acest timp de informatie.

Mirosul conteaza

O problema majora pentru cumparator este insa faptul ca parfumul achizitionat nu poate fi mirosit. Asa ca optiunile sunt limitate la parfumurile al caror miros il cunoaste deja sau la feedback-ul primit din partea altor cumparatori, care in general isi scriu opiniile despre calitatea si caracteristicile parfumurilor achizitionate, pe site-urile parfumeriilor online.

“Foarte multi potentiali cumparatori intra pe siteul AORO si citesc opiniile celor care deja au cumparat parfumuri de la noi de mai multe ori si au fost multumiti. Acest lucru ii ajuta sa se hotarasca asupra parfumului pe care il vor achizitiona.” explica Laurentiu Cenusa.

Sunt si cazuri in care cumparatorii nu sunt constienti de acest risc si, nemultumiti de parfumul pe care l-au comandat, refuza sa plateasca produsul la livrare. Produsul poate fi returnat, in 14 zile de la primire, insa numai daca ambalajul nu a fost desfacut. In caz contrar parfumul nu mai poate fi returnat, intrucat parfumeria sufera prejudicii legate de cheltuielile de transport.
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