1 – Keeping the team together: Luxasia implements measures to safeguard jobs amid COVID-19 crisis
Omnichannel luxury beauty and lifestyle brand distributor, Luxasia, has made safeguarding the livelihood of its employees a primary focus in the battle against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Based in Singapore, Luxasia is Asia Pacific’s leading luxury beauty omnichannel partner to global brands such as Bvlgari, Dior, Elizabeth Arden, Hermes, and La Prairie.
With a regional footprint in 15 Asia Pacific markets, the firm has inevitably been impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19, with net sales in the first quarter of 2020 reflecting a decline.
The consumer fear of crowded public areas has seen retail footfall decline, forcing some retailers to shorten operating hours.
All this has contributed to the weakening of luxury and beauty sales in many markets, especially in China and Hong Kong.
Additionally, countries such as Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Singapore are also affected due to the sharp decline in Chinese tourist traffic.
Despite the gloomy outlook, Luxasia CEO Dr. Wolfgang Baier told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the company is ‘holding up well’.
2 – Stocking filler: Shiseido develops new foundation formula inspired by solid concealers and stockings
The Shiseido Company has developed a new foundation formula that claims to provide the high coverage of a solid foundation with a natural finish it likens to stockings.
According to a 2018 survey conducted by Shiseido, users of liquid foundations require formulas that offer high coverage yet look natural at the same time.
The Japanese company said that it has explored multiple avenues in order to meet this expectation, such as developing new powders and exploring the optimal powder combinations.
“We have been conducting research to achieve [high coverage with natural finish], but this time we have explored a new approach to achieve a higher level of compatibility.”
In its latest approach to solving this conundrum, its research and development team said it looked to solid concealers for a solution.
3 – Bouncing back: A.S. Watson’s China business sees improvement following COVID-19 outbreak
Health and beauty retailer A.S. Watson has observed a strong recovery in China after over a month of store closures due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Last year, the Hong Kong-based company and subsidiary of C.K. Hutchinson, increased its Watsons store numbers in China by 9%, bringing up the total number of outlets to 3,947 in 483 cities.
When the COVID-19 outbreak started in January, the company saw its business quickly affected as cities came to a standstill.
At its peak, some 2,500 stores, which make up 64% of its total force, remained closed for over a month. Store traffic dropped about 90% which led to sales plummeting by 80%.
In the first weeks of March, however, the firm observed a reassuring improvement in its business.
“In March we saw strong recovery. Up to yesterday, only 4% of our stores were closed. The remaining are open and operating… Sales numbers are quite encouraging under these circumstances,” said Dominic Lai, group managing director of A.S. Watson Group, said during C.K. Hutchinson’s 2019 annual result conference call on March 19.
4 – ‘A slice of the tropics’: Malaysia's Tanamera targets UK to strengthen presence in Europe
Malaysia-based Tanamera is eyeing the potential of the UK natural beauty market to further reinforce its position in Europe.
Tanamera is the maker of plant-based personal care products based on remedies and herbs of Malaysian traditions.
It was founded over a decade ago by local manufacturing company F.A. Herbs, a family-owned business that develops personal care products as well as health supplements for clients such as Amway and Tupperware.
Tanamera was conceived as a truly natural and eco-friendly personal care concept to show clients what natural products were supposed to be like.
“We noticed that natural products were going to be a big thing in the market years ago. However, the natural products out there at the time were expensive. And because our expertise is in formulation, we knew a lot of so-called natural products were [not natural],” said Mohamad Faisal Ahmad Fadzil, the brand’s co-founder and managing director.
5 – ‘Permissible and forgivable’: Malaysia clarifies that alcohol-based hand sanitisers can be used by Muslims
Malaysia’s minister of religious affairs has given the green light for Muslim consumers to use alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri posted an announcement on the ministry’s official website stressing that protection against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was of utmost importance.
“Due to the emergence of the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our country, the implementation of cleanliness is the main factor in decreasing the risk of being infected by the virus.”
Quoting fatwa, he elaborated that alcohol used medical or personal care use was permissible as it does not intoxicate.
The minister emphasised that according to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, every hand sanitiser product on the market must contain ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol or benzalkonium chloride as the main ingredient.
He added that people should follow the guidelines set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which recommends the use alcohol-based hand sanitisers as they are considered the ‘gold standard’ for hand hygiene.