BW Confidential aimed to find out how the industry is dealing with the current crisis through its COVID-19 International Beauty Industry Survey. We asked industry executives to tell us their plans in terms of cuts they plan to make in personnel, marketing, possible investment in digital to offset lost sales, as well as how they see a potential rebound once the crisis subsides.
A total of 375 executives responded to our survey from the distribution (local market, online and travel retail), brand and supplier (formulation and packagers) communities from the period March 19-24. While most respondents said they plan to make cuts, encouragingly almost 60% said they also expected a strong rebound and 52% stated that they were already preparing for an uptick.
Below are the key findings of the survey:
- In terms of COVID-19’s impact on annual sales, 48% of executives surveyed said that they expected to see a decline in revenues for the year of 20% or more. Some 15% said that they forecast sales to fall by at least 10%. Among brands, 60% said that the drop would be 20% or more, while in distribution, 68% of those canvased expect to see a sales decline of 20% or more for the year. In the supplier community, 33% said they expect annual sales to fall by at least 10%.
- Some 57% of executives said that they would make cuts in their marketing budgets, against just 11% who said they would not reduce expenditure in this area. Some 32% of executives were still unsure if they would cut their marketing budget at this point. However, 68% of brands said they would make cuts to marketing, while 75% of those in the distribution sector said they would reduce spend in this area. Some 17% of suppliers revealed that they would reduce marketing spend.
- Only 7% said they would make major cuts in personnel, while 37% said they would make minor cuts in personnel or temporary redundancies. Almost 15% said that they would not reduce headcount, while 41% were undecided at this time. Among brands, only 4% said they would make major staff cuts, while 44% stated they would make minor reductions in staff or temporary redundancies. Some 4% of brands said they would not cut jobs. In the distribution sector, 13% said they would make major job cuts, while 44% stated that they would make minor cuts or temporary redundancies.
- Asked about whether they would increase investment in digital or e-commerce, 27% of executives said they would make a sizeable investment in this area, while 28% stated they would make a slight investment in digital. Some 16% said they would not increase investment in this area, while 4% said they were focused on making cuts rather than investments at this time. Among brands, 20% said they would make a sizeable investment in digital, while 36% said they would make a minor investment in this area. In the distribution sector, 44% stated they would make a sizeable investment in digital and e-commerce, while 38% said that they would make a minor investment in this area.
- Some 59% of those surveyed said they expect to see a strong rebound once the crisis subsides. Among brands, the figure was 60%, while in the distribution sector it came in at 56%. Among suppliers it was 61%.
- Asked whether they were already preparing for a rebound, 52% said yes. Among them, 44% of brands said they were preparing for a rebound, while this figure reached 61% for suppliers. Some 44% of those in distribution stated that they are preparing for a rebound.
A total of 375 industry executives responded to the survey from March 19-24. BW Confidential would like to thank all those who took part in the survey.