Coronavirus and Its Impact on the Beauty Industry
The impact of COVID-19 has far-reaching consequences in all industries - including beauty.
We're in week 9 of the official announcement of the coronavirus outbreak. No one could have predicted the disruption it was going to cause globally. COVID-19 has impacted schools, small businesses, corporations, gig workers, and healthcare providers.
Make sure to read our article about how you can help stop the spread of the coronavirus with a few simple steps, while at the same time protecting yourself and others.
The unimaginable chain reaction has put virtually all industries in a frantic stage, including the beauty industry. China is the second-largest economy in the world and one of the largest manufacturing and exporting countries.
So, how does this affect the beauty industry?
Proctor & Gamble, parent company to sixty different brands, which include SK-II, Pantene, and Olay, "use 387 suppliers to source 9,000 different materials that will impact 17,600 different finished products" says Jon Moeller, COO, and CFO for P&G.
Alternatives in a time of retail restrictions
The COVID-19 outbreak has completely changed the ways consumers behave. Hair salons are seeing a drop in client foot traffic due to advice from the CDC. Many retail stores like Sephora and Ulta have suspended in-store makeup testing to prevent the spread of the virus. Consumers are pausing their in-store experiences by shopping online, thanks to the recommendations that these stores are promoting.
Large beauty chains aren't the only ones feeling the hit from this outbreak. Independent Make-Up Artists (MUAs) are also feeling the effect of clients postponing appointments and practicing social distancing. Although these practices are following appropriate measures, it's a problem for MUA as those appointments are how they make their income.
Of course, strict sanitization procedures have always been the norm in this industry. Makeup artists practice rigorous sanitization for their products and brushes as it is, and now some artists are opting to use products that are dispensed by pumps as opposed to products they have to dip into. Because this is such an intimate profession, getting a makeup application done right now can be challenging for them and the client.
Luckily, on-demand apps like MOBILESTYLES App can help both beauty industry professionals and individuals seeking health and beauty services during this time. Similar to how food delivery apps like DoorDash help by keeping people away from crowding in restaurants, MOBILESTYLES brings PROs directly to the client's doorstep and lets people avoid a public venue like a salon.
Beauty item purchases
With all the travel restrictions in place globally, there's a sudden drop-off in leisurely travel and spending abroad. Some countries are under quarantine for weeks, leading many to struggle with purchasing daily necessities, let alone beauty products that they don't fundamentally need. Many events are also being canceled or postponed, rendering it almost superfluous to purchase new items for experiences that consumers presumably won't have to attend in the near future.
All these factors are making consumers change their perspective from purchasing what they want to only what they need during this time of uncertainty. Instead of buying a tube of lipstick, consumers are buying containers of hand sanitizer and packages of toilet paper.
Part of an affected economy
Less affected areas are also keeping consumers from going out for fear of contracting COVID-19. Many luxury brands have temporarily closed their doors in China due to the coronavirus, losing sales to protect the health of their employees. The growth projections have made many CEOs uneasy due to the unknown timeframe of when the coronavirus will be contained, and ultimately cured.
Many components are made and assembled in China before shipping to their final destination, for the next phase. Since export from some countries has all but halted, fewer shipping containers arrive at ports, causing another ripple effect. Many independent truck drivers find themselves left with no work, and others that work for a larger company laid off since there's a significant decrease in transportation needs.
And currently, there's no vaccine. NIH Director, Anthony Fauci, has said that it will be a year to 18 months before there is a vaccine on the market. And with Wall Street taking several tumbles over these last few weeks, panic is slowly creeping in.
There's a dense cloud over all industries - including health and beauty.
Navigate the future together
How will the beauty industry change in the next couple of weeks or months? Will brands start sourcing components or raw material from other countries, possibly making our beloved beauty products more expensive? Will the formulation of certain items change slightly? Will delivery times take longer? These questions have no answers, just yet.
Industries are on shaky ground, and we're all bracing for potential impact alongside them, waiting. The recovery time is going to be a journey for many. And for others not personally affected by COVID-19, it'll be a time to splurge on products once the doors to their favorite stores reopen for business.