The positive sales revenue growth registered in China throughout January and February has been attenuated by a downturn in March. Lingering strict lockdowns in many Chinese cities are jeopardising the restart of the domestic economy, while also threatening global recovery in many sectors.

An NPD Group research reveals strong Chinese New Year sales in January and February in prestige beauty e-commerce drove up sales revenues in China by 11% in the first quarter of 2022 (Q1), compared to last year. Unfortunately, this trend did not last because the new COVID-19 outbreak that hit China during the second half of March led to regional lockdowns and increase in mask use. This caused sales to decline by 1% for the month.
In Q1, hair products sales scored the highest increase, 43%, followed by fragrance, make-up, and skincare – 18%, 11%, and 9%, respectively. The growth of the hair category didn’t stop in March, increasing 33% for the month, and there were pockets of growth within face and body skincare, including sun-care. The make-up and fragrance categories experienced respective declines of 6% and 4%, versus March 2021.
“China could continue to see prestige make-up sales decline in April and May due to the current lockdowns in some major cities, including Shanghai, the country’s leading manufacturing centre,” said Stanley Kee, senior vice president and managing director, APAC, The NPD Group. “However, the situation is likely to improve beginning in June when China’s 618 Shopping Festival kicks off, and the government is expected to release new, favourable policies to boost consumption.”

Clearly, this situation is not only affecting the beauty industry but all the sectors of retail and services, including Hair & Beauty Salons. The Chinese population and businesses of all sizes are struggling to get through this new challenge. The rest of the world is also starting to understand what dire consequences this could have on the global economy, especially if these lockdowns should continue to last much longer.

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