Super premium beauty and personal care saw a marked decline in sales in 2020 as border measures implemented in late March to limit the spread of COVID-19 led to a sharp fall in the number of visitors from Mainland China, a key consumer group in the category. Moreover, local demand also declined, as Hong Kong residents avoided physical stores because of concerns about viral transmission through social contact.
The super premium skincare and “other” super premium beauty and personal care categories proved more resilient than colour cosmetics and fragrances in 2020, though all categories witnessed significant decline. With the considerable shift towards remote working and the reduction in social activity during the COVID-19 crisis, there was a significant decline in typical occasions for wearing colour cosmetics and fragrances.
Super premium beauty and personal care brands and retailers faced inventory problems in 2020 due to the serious drop in the number of visitors from Mainland China. As a result, super premium brands engaged in the unfamiliar practice of launching heavy discounts on bundled products for online purchase.
The shift towards e-commerce witnessed in 2020, as consumers avoided physical stores because of concerns about exposure to the COVID-19 virus, is expected to have an enduring effect. Several brands, including Clé de Peau Beauté, La Mer and Darphin, opened their own e-stores during the year, offering discounted product bundles, while retailers of super premium beauty and personal care products, such as Facesss, also launched online pop-up stores to drive sales.
The heavy use of face masks in 2020 has resulted in skin problems caused by the humidity under the face masks to become an increasing concern for female consumers. This has supported a growing demand for products offering soothing and detoxing effects.
Personalisation and customisation will remain crucial to the super premium positioning of brands during the forecast period. Personalised formulation has become an important factor in super premium skincare, with consumers looking for products tailored to the particular condition of their own skin.
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This report originates from Passport, our Super Premium Beauty and Personal Care research and analysis database.
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