During the confinement, life in the big cities reorganizes, public transports are free but one must enter the bus through the door in the middle of the bus and not approach the driver. Gym classes and religious services moved on-line.
In New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago, the quarantine started late... women wanted to get their hair and nails done before solitary confinement. There was +3% growth in the two months of January and February, with skin care outperforming perfume and makeup (NPD).
The National Retail Association had a provision of $350 billion dollars to protect small businesses. Their employees would benefit from 39 weeks of unemployment (instead of the usual 26) and they would receive an additional aid of 600$ per week. Finally, a tax credit of 15 billion dollars was allocated to those businesses that did not fire their workers.
Today, the authorities in New York announced a return to the ’new normal’ by mid May at best, and Chanel has guaranteed wages for its Beauty Advisors working for their company at Saks until that date. Three companies that are doing well during the crisis are Amazon, Walmart, & Target – they’ve rarely done better.
Early in the pandemic, they put in place services to help elderly or handicapped clients. They managed to keep prices down for “essential” and “non-essential” products, while in stores in towns, prices rose.
Walmart opened their Super Centers an hour earlier, and limited the number of customers by taking appointments in order to help those with reduced mobility. Scooters were made available for clients, as well as employees who would assist each client with their shopping list and a cart. Aisles were made into one-way traffic in order to limit people passing each other and to help make shopping faster. All the goods were loaded into peoples’ cars or delivered to their homes. Walmart pharmacies, which usually had long waiting lines, opened a 24/24 exclusively drive through with very good results.
At the beginning of the crisis, Amazon was hiring 100,000 employees, Walmart 10,000, and Target 9,000. Target and Walmart also announced they were looking for more local brands as well as local suppliers for their stores.
During their confinement, American women were determined not to give up their beauty regimes: haircare, nail-care, and eyelash extensions were not to be abandoned. On March 13, the government asked dermatologists to reschedule all non-essential appointments until further order. Some have decided to take a break from intensive dermatologist treatments, certainly not for acne. Dermatologists have seen an important rise in irritations due to intensive use of hydro-alcoholic gels.
Kline has announced a severe recession, a 2.5% fall in beauty care products - all the way to 80% for certain brands. Hygiene and haircare are already coming out ahead. Most likely quality will replace quantity regarding products.
“Less is more”, will become the new normal.