Eastern European sales of colour cosmetics recorded a steep decline in 2020. Measures introduced to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), such as lockdowns, retail closures and mask-wearing, all had a negative impact on sales. Lip products was the worst performer, with this part of the face covered in public when mask-wearing. Colour cosmetics sales will return to positive growth from 2021, but will not reach pre-pandemic levels again before the end of the forecast period.
Colour cosmetics growth in Eastern Europe had slowed in the two years prior to 2020, with sales in Russia slipping into decline, as industry players targeted price-sensitive Russian consumers with major discounting activity. Widespread discounts were also being used to attract price-conscious shoppers in Ukraine, which resulting in slowing growth here in 2019.
Colour cosmetics was one of the worst-affected BPC categories by the pandemic. The measures to control the spread of COVID-19, including non-essential retail closures and lockdowns, significantly disrupted sales of colour cosmetics. Many felt no need to wear make-up, or as much as usual, when in home seclusion, ie not going out to work or for social occasions. Lip products were seen as superfluous when forced to wear a mask outside the home. Nail products did slightly better than most colour cosmetics, helped by consumers having to bring their nail care into their own homes given the closure of nail and beauty salons.
E-commerce was the major “winner” among the retail channels during the pandemic in 2020, recording dynamic sales and share growth. With some store-based retail channels forced to close during lockdowns and, even when open, shops needing to implement social distancing and other safety/hygiene measures, internet retailing became particularly attractive, especially as it minimised the potential for coming into contact with the virus.
Growth rates will return to positive territory from 2021, but only at relatively modest rates, meaning that Eastern Europe will not reach its pre-pandemic sales levels again before the end of the forecast period, partly due to the continued declines expected in Russia, the region’s biggest market.
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