Multicultural hair and beauty retailer
PAK Cosmetics is Europe's largest retail supplier of multicultural hair and beauty products; Pak Cosmetics in the UK was founded in 1967 and serves around 8 million customers a year, across all three platforms in terms of stores online: mass market, masstige, and prestige.
Pak Cosmetics has an online shop, sells its products on Amazon's platform, and operates 35 stores across London and the Southeast.
We had a great discussion with the CEO of PAK Cosmetics, Peter Mudahy, who participated in Wabel Online UP Beauty Summit 2020.
How has Covid-19 impacted your company and your strategy?
Well, obviously, in terms of retail, it is kind of a hold, I mean, on the growth, forecast and predictive plans that we had in place. So all of that a few months ago when we actually saw the effects of Covid without the window.
So what we're now looking at is to try to see how it shifted and what's shifted in. To give you an example, we are no longer selling shampoos, conditioners in our top selling products but what we are selling is soap bars, antiseptic products, and disinfectant products which seem to grow up to the top, so it's all that shift in terms of how the business works. It also means that lots of companies turned to online business.
So our online business has gone up 400%. We now have to make the investment that we would normally make into our stores and pump them into digital marketing and fine-tune all the aspects that you would need to run a very volatile online business.
Why did you come back to Wabel this year?
I have always admired Wabel! One thing about Wabel is that you guys are very good at bringing innovative, forward-thinking products.
Many Wabel's participants think outside the box, and I like that because it shows how you can stretch the boundaries to create effective products. I also admire many people who bring in creative packaging and alternatives to plastics and other alternatives to make environmentally friendly products, so I think that is an attribute to Wabel's organization that you're able to do that consistently year on year.
In addition, you, guys, do an absolutely awesome buffet and I really miss your award ceremonies 🙂
How did you like the online format of the meetings this year?
Well, last week we went back into another phase of lockdown in the UK which makes it difficult to do business because you have to run around and make sure certain things were in place so to sit down and have this time to be in front of the meetings is a bit of a struggle.
Still, I think it's a great way to keep in touch while we are in the position that we are in.
I think the face-to-face is more relaxing, you can concentrate more and obviously you can bond with people that you take your presentation for.
How did you like the suppliers you talked to?
We are already doing business with some companies we met on Wabel Summits, so it allows us to discuss all the support, marketing support, how we can help them sell more products which is great because obviously with the distance it is difficult for them to travel and come over and see us, so I am glad I could get to know some really interesting companies.