Brexit - the cosmetics industry response

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

Brexit - the cosmetics industry response

Related tags: Cosmetics

Dominating headlines since June, Brexit has reverberated through homes, industries and boardrooms alike as the Brits consider how leaving the EU will ultimately affect the UK. Here’s what the cosmetics industry has had to say on the matter to date…

Prior to the vote in June, industry body Cosmetics Europe had revealed research that the UK’s personal care industry continued to notch up above average industry growth rates while the rest of the EU was still finding its feet, following tough times.

Putting forward his prediction as an industry leader, president Loic Armand had expressed at the event​ his belief that momentum could only be maintained through a Europe that could combine its resources on science and innovation.

“Our industry remains strong and shows signs of growth despite trying economic circumstances. Valued at 77 billion Euros, Europe remains the largest market for cosmetic products in the world,” ​he had said at the time.

SME dissatisfaction

Just days before the EU Referendum, Cosmetics Design reported that many UK small and medium-sized cosmetics company owners were still unclear​ as to how leaving or staying would affect their businesses.

However, a ‘Business for Britain’ ​report revealed that the majority of 601 SME leaders from various industries polled in 2015, expressed their dissatisfaction with EU employment law, working qualifications and health and safety regulations.

SMEs account for over 99% of British businesses and over 60 per cent of all private sector employment in the UK. They are also the backbone of Europe's economy, representing 99 per cent of all businesses on the continent.

Vote fallout

Post vote, it was the turn of handmade cosmetics retailer, Lush, to make the headlines.

Founder, Mark Constantine had spoken out ​about the ‘clear message’ he believed UK Brexit voters had sent to businesses like Lush, with 38 different nationalities on the payroll.

The company has now begun the process of moving its European staff to its Germany facility.

Little change ahead?

In an interview with Cosmetics Design​ Mintel senior personal care analyst, Roshida Khanom, offered her view on the likely trends in the face of the change, in light of past consumer behaviours and the immediate impact of the vote seen so far.

While Khanom was certain that consumers are likely to ‘trade down’ in times of economic uncertainty, often switching to own-label varieties, the market research firm analyst predicts there is likely to be little change long term, as the UK will look to continue to trade with Europe and exported goods will still have to be compliant with EU legislation.

This view was echoed by the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Perfumery Association, which offered its view in an exclusive guest article for this publication.

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