In periods of crisis and uncertainty, there’s a tendency to buy big in beauty. Little perker-uppers to keep spirits high - we’re sure you’re familiar with the lipstick effect. But what if you couldn’t get your hands on said lipstick? Or that it suddenly doubled in price and became too much of a luxury to justify the extra pennies? Hello Brexit and a nation living in limbo.
Which is why some of you are covering your backs when it comes to certain can’t-live-without items. Recent research from Swedish skincare brand, FOREO has discovered that over a quarter of millennials are already stashing away supplies and one in 10 would consider doing so. Prioritising beauty products over things like medication, short-life food and alcohol, 25% of respondents said they would struggle if Brexit led to a shortage of their hair and beauty must-haves.
Not surprisingly it’s French pharmacy brands such as La Roche-Posay, Nuxe, Vichy, Avéne, Bioderma and Caudalie that are receiving an upsurge in sales according to the report, although Nivea, L’Oreal and Estee Lauder are on the consumer’s most-wanted list too. Then there are all those chic Scandi brands, FOREO included, that we’ve welcomed into our regimes. Where would we be without Skyn Iceland, Lumene , Verso, Kjaer Weiss and vegan haircare brand, Maria Nila?
According to Alexia Inge, founder of Cult Beauty , niche companies may stand a better chance when it comes to braving the Brexit waters - it’s the medium-sized companies that don’t have a connection with the consumer who could be hit hardest. She also flags that brands offering supersize products are doing especially well. “If customers are really sure about the product, it makes sense to buy big,” she says.
Mark Curry, co-founder of The Inkey List also believes that a strong brand ethos will drive loyalty throughout these times of uncertainty and that actually, it could work in favour of British brands. “They should shout about their heritage and ramp up their story-telling. Plus there’s the chance to do well in international markets who might see it as an opportunity to buy British,” says Mark.
Of course that doesn’t help if it’s Embryolisse Lait-Crème or La Roche-Posay Effaclar you rely on to keep your skin behaving. Or if the British brand you’re championing can’t get hold of the EU ingredients that make their products so amazing. The admin side of things will also have an impact. “The regulatory procedures need to be considered,” explains Alexia. “All of the paperwork doubles, which means you need more admin staff (especially if you’re a small workforce) and this will hit margins which is why prices could go up and anything that’s seen as extraneous by the customer might drop off the scale.”
Luckily, it’s not come out of the blue for these companies so brands have been putting plans in place to ensure they remain competitive and don’t let their customers down. “We will have plenty of stock in the months after Brexit and we do not envisage increasing the prices across any of our range,” confirms Nora Zukauskaite, FOREO Marketing and Communications Manager. Let’s just hope everyone else is taking their lead…
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