LONDON, June 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the dynamics of the personal care services industry globally. The personal care services industry is a hands-on industry, and the individuals involved are highly susceptible to the risk of transmission. This is discouraging people from availing beauty services. Also, with governments implementing lockdown, beauty salons and spas are temporarily shut down in majority of the countries across the world. For example, in March 2020, Regis Corporation, a leading hair salon with over 10,000 salons, announced temporary closure all of its corporate owned salons for 2 weeks.
The very basis of spas and salons is ‘touch’, and with touch becoming a feared and despised word amidst the ongoing virus outbreak, the personal care services industry is expected to experience a tectonic transformation. As most countries have gone into lockdown, beauty service retailers and providers such as Sephora, Ulta, and Dry Bar have closed down their stores as per government protocols.
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Disruption Of Supply Chain Due To Cross Border Restrictions
The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has caused shortage in the supply of beauty products and raw materials such as essential oils. This is because of the disruption in the supply chain especially in the production and shipment of the raw materials that are manufactured in the UK, USA, China, Malaysia and India. For instance, India imports $400 million worth of cosmetics and beauty products from Germany, UK, USA, China, and Malaysia. As the virus continues to spread, the imports from other countries have been put on hold, thus negatively affecting the skincare and beauty industry in the country. Also, in a recent conference held in the month of February, P&G CFO Joh Moeller instated that around 17,600 products could be affected due to import and other restrictions. This will negatively impact the personal care services market.
Consumer Preference Shifting Towards Natural And Homemade Products
As people continue to follow self-isolation, consumers have been relying on at-home products such as natural and home-made facials, lotions, and essential oils to take care of themselves. Topics such as “self-care” and “number of days without a hair wash” have been trending on social media. Beauty and health products that are considered to be preventive, clean, and safe, coupled with higher shelf life have seen an upturn in their growth.
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Government Support During The Pandemic
Globally, governments are offering several measures to support businesses during the pandemic. For example, the government of the UK announced a stimulus package to assist personal care service providers. Under the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme,’ which was announced on March 20, 2020, the government will cover the wages of employees who cannot work due to the restrictions. These employees will be paid 80% of their salary up to £2,500 per month, by the government. The government also extended the deadline for the payment of VAT and Income tax until the end of next year.
Businesses with less than 250 employees are eligible to claim ‘Statutory Sick Pay’ for employees who are unable to work because of the coronavirus. The government of the UK, under the ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme,’ announced plans to provide loans up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank.
Recommendations For Businesses Engaged In Personal Care Services
Owing to the COVID-19 crisis, it is advisable for businesses in the personal care services market to implement changes such as digital integration, increased time between appointments, prioritizing hygiene, focusing on off-premise services, etc.
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