COVID-Crunched Cosmetics Shoppers Spending Less, Trading Down, Wary Of Stores
Recent surveys from consulting, retail analytics and e-commerce logistics firms support the views of leading beauty and personal-care companies that are modifying their approaches in light of consumers’ changing means and preferences during COVID-19.
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Unilever’s leadership is optimistic about its enormously expanded hygiene business – both skin cleansing and home cleaning – inasmuch as it doubts that a full COVID-19 recovery is in sight. The firm launched hand sanitizers in 65 new markets in just five months, helping to offset plunging sales in other areas of its business that were heavily impacted by lockdowns around the world.
The beauty giant says it is selling its Professional Beauty and retail hair-care businesses to global investment firm KKR and targeting $700m in cost reductions over the next two and a half years. Coty already was in transformation mode prior to COVID-19, which drove a 23% decline in its third-quarter net sales, and it does not expect revenue levels to normalize anytime soon.
Lauder’s business has been thrashed by COVID-19, but the firm is encouraged that its biggest growth drivers before the crisis are the same ones carrying it through.