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22.3% Decline!China’s Beauty Market Continued to Be Depressed

China’s total retail sales of cosmetics showed the first negative growth in nearly five years in April, with a year-on-year decline of 22.3% and an amount of US $3.171 billion. The relevant manager of China’s National Bureau of Statistics said bluntly, “The epidemic in April had a great impact on economic operation”. Affected by repeated epidemics, large-scale suspension of logistics, sharp reduction of customer flow and other factors, cosmetics workers have experienced “the most difficult four months in history”.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released retail sales data for the first four months of 2022 on May 16, BST (all times of this article are Beijing time). From January to April, the total retail sales of social consumer goods exceeded US $2047.264 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 0.2%. Among them, the retail sales of consumer goods other than automobiles reached 1849.64 billion US dollars, an increase of 0.8%.

In April, China’s total retail sales of social consumer goods reached US $436.938 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 11.1%. NBS said that since the beginning of this year, the new downward pressure on the economy has further increased due to the more complex and severe international environment and the obvious impact of the Chinese epidemic.

Specifically, the total retail sales of cosmetics in China in April was US $3.171 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 22.3%; From January to April, the total retail sales of cosmetics reached US $17.31 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 3.6%, which is also the first decline in the cumulative total retail sales of cosmetics in China this year. According to data released last month, China’s total retail sales of cosmetics in the first quarter were $14.064 billion, up 1.8% year-on-year.

Based on the data released by NBS over the years, April witnessed this year the first negative growth of China’s total retail sales of cosmetics in recent five years, which shows the sluggish performance of China’s cosmetics market in April.

It is worth noting that, according to the data released by the General Administration of Customs, China’s imports of beauty cosmetics and toiletries were 35200.2 tons in the first four months of 2022, a year-on-year decrease of 22.9%; The import amount was US $1.955 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 9.28%. Recently, Shiseido and Kose released their first-quarter earnings reports, showing that due to the COVID-19 lockdown in China, the overall sales in China except Hainan showed a declining trend, with Shiseido losing over 22 million US dollars in China.

The beauty supply chain normally affects the whole body. Shanghai, who plays an important role in China’s beauty industry, has been hit hard by the epidemic in the past few months, which had a significant impact on China’s cosmetics industry. What really affects business is “logistics”, which is almost at a standstill until now.At a press conference on Shanghai’s epidemic prevention and control work held on May 16, Shanghai announced that the prevention and control work in the city had achieved initial results, and normal production and life order would be restored in three stages starting from May 16, and fully restored in June. Previously, Shanghai has determined the white list of two batches of enterprises that have resumed work and production, and many large companies such as Shanghai Jahwa said they have begun to resume work and production in an orderly manner.

For all enterprises, the ultimate goal is to completely unseal and resume work. At present, there are still many problems to be optimized in terms of enterprise resumption and logistics. “There is still a demand for raw materials and packaging materials for a small number of resumption of work, which brings relatively large restrictions in this regard. In addition, if it is impossible for all staff to resume work, there will still be insufficient manpower.” According to Chinese insiders, the biggest difficulty after returning to work is still the difficulty of various material support caused by epidemic control, such as the necessary living materials for employees in the factory.

Another senior person pointed out that priority should be given to the resumption of the factory, which can solve the short-term shortage of goods, but the subsequent logistics, raw materials, containers, cartons, etc. need to be restored as well.  “Because a single formula includes 20 to 40 kinds of raw materials, it can’t be done without one, or without one container and packaging material.” He stressed that “Ensuring the whole supply chain including raw materials and containers is the key to sustainable development.”

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