Business issues are the problems that a business faces, which requires the business to find another way of doing things. The following issues are to be addressed in the perfume industry in order to make the industry a commodity:
- Competition_ this is the competition for brand share. Many other businesses may exist doing the same kind of business, thus establishing a brand name, which is well known from competitors, takes time. Perfume stores face wide range of competition, especially across price segments, including department stores, internet retailers and other mass merchandisers.
- Overstocking at the retail level_ when starting a perfume shop, one may overstock in anticipation that the product will sell but it may not be like that.
- Dependence on consumer spending_ sales of perfume products, especially the high-end, are usually vulnerable to decreased consumer spending, and consumers may consider many other perfume products in the industry that are prone to economic downturns. Most consumers reduce their discretionary purchases and are likely to switch to buying less expensive products during hard economic times.
- Supplier concentration_ large multinational companies dominate this market and starting a shop with the same suppliers are bound to favor the big retailers like L’oreal, Estée Lauder, and Procter & Gamble, who also continue to grow by acquiring small brands. These large retailers receive favorable treatment from the suppliers, reducing the negotiating power of smaller perfume shops like ours.
- Slow retail price growth_ increasing profits are known to challenge perfume shops due to slow retail price growth. During the last quarter of the year, perfume prices increased by about 3%, but heavy competition keeps the prices down for retailers, and for those new shops it means they will experience reduced profits or slow growth.
- Sales seasonality_ perfume stores specializing in products with seasonal sales may have difficulties compensating for poor performance during the peak season (First Research Industry Profiles). Social Issues Regarding Perfume Business
Social issues are those that relate to one’s personal life and interactions, and they are related in many more ways to moral issues as well.
- Product liability_ most perfume products are known chemicals and retailers, therefore, they may be liable for any product liability claims. Such issues like contamination, misbranded products or inadequate user instructions or warnings may expose the company to risks and one may opt not to stock certain products, despite the fact that it may be a fast selling product (First Research Industry Profiles).
- Many consumers today are known to buy product from companies that are seen to produce goods without harm of the environment or to humans. This ethical purchasing is slowly gaining prominence and they affect consumers’ ability to buy products.
- Some people will be compelled not to stock perfumes that are marketed as ‘essential oil’, because this is an outright lie. Some perfumes may be marketed as ‘natural’ even after they contain synthetic chemicals. Stocking such ‘lie’ perfumes may raise moral issues and one may opt not to stock them.
Thus, being fair and honest in this kind of business is a big issue and a complex dilemma that may somehow hurt the perfume business. It is, therefore, advisable not to make a decision that will affect the business negatively, especially when beliefs and values of a person are tested. A business owner should take care so as not to lose sight on essential values and fairness, and he/she should balance on choosing legality and profitability as the measurement in determining what is right from what is wrong in the perfume business. Social issues may emerge due to religious, environment or tradition beliefs (Cfagbata).