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Beauty trends Coronavirus Has Been A Tailwind For Online Sales, But It May Set Back These Four Growing Trends


Beauty Trends

Beauty trends Coronavirus Has Been A Tailwind For Online Sales, But It May Set Back These Four Growing Trends

As coronavirus has driven a pickup in online orders and grocery and restaurant delivery, it also may … [+] walk back some growing trends including self-service. Andria Cheng While the coronavirus pandemic has added fuel to already-growing online sales and spurred the adoption of grocery and food delivery and pickup orders—fast-casual chain Chipotle just reported its biggest-ever…

Beauty trends Coronavirus Has Been A Tailwind For Online Sales, But It May Set Back These Four Growing Trends

Beauty trends

beauty trends coronavirus retail

As coronavirus has driven a pickup in online orders and grocery and restaurant delivery, it also may … [+] walk back some growing trends including self-service.


Andria Cheng

While the coronavirus pandemic has added fuel to already-growing online sales and spurred the adoption of grocery and food delivery and pickup orders—fast-casual chain Chipotle just reported its biggest-ever quarterly online sales—it’s also putting a damper on a few retail trends that not long ago were abuzz.

Single-use plastic bag bans: As the latest research from IQAir on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day shows, the coronavirus outbreak has led to “unprecedented reductions” in air pollution in major studied cities. Governments’ attempts to flatten the curve have also translated to a delay or pause of single-use plastic bag bans at grocery and other stores that had been picking up steam. 

Massachusetts, for instance, has reportedly implemented a temporary ban on reusable bags on top of walking back a restriction on plastic bag use at grocery stores and drug stores. It’s also waved the fees that stores were required to collect when customers used checkout bags. 

In Bexley, Ohio, residents are reportedly being directed to clean reusable bags after each use as the city’s plastic bag ban has also been lifted for the time being. 

It’s not just single-use plastic bags that are seeing a pickup, though. Consumers are now seeking more single-use disposable items when they clean. They now favor doing laundry with unit-dose detergents and cleaning with “a disposable cleaning solution” like Bounty paper towels or Swiffer floor wipes versus using a sponge, a mop or a cloth, CPG giant Procter & Gamble said on Friday.

“Let me serve you”: While self-checkout is growing popular in the era of social distancing, the trend of retailers setting up self-service beauty counters and other boutiques will likely suffer a setback without a big retooling. The same goes for consumers being free to pick through baskets of produce or pastries or helping themselves to self-service stations at coffee shops and restaurants from Starbucks to McDonald’s.

For instance, at the popular farmers’ market at New York’s Union Square, signs at different stands ask customers to wait to be served instead of picking for themselves what they want. Like other food sellers, the green market has also implemented crowd control.

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Antibacterial may trump natural as CPG’s new “it” marketing pitch: While a study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year found there’s not enough science to show that over-the-counter antibacterial soaps beat plain soap and water in lowering the risk of getting sick and being infected, the collective coronavirus anxiety has led consumers to seek things with antibacterial claims, from Clorox sanitizing wipes to Dawn soap. 

Now a common sight in many stores: empty shelves of products with antibacterial claims next to still-well-stocked counterparts with natural ingredients that were not long ago seen as more desirable.

beauty trends coronavirus antibacterial

Coronavirus has driven up sales of items with antibacterial claims while those products with natural … [+] pitch still sit on shelves.


Andria Cheng

Traditional giants regain upper hand over upstarts: As consumers stocking up have given the previously lagging center aisle of the grocery stores a new jolt, and driven up sales at many CPG giants—Kleenex tissue and Scott toilet paper parent Kimberly-Clark on Wednesday posted an 11% surge in quarterly organic sales—the pandemic may also be tilting the power pendulum back in favor of the traditional CPG giants against the upstarts.

With many giants upping their game in recent years after losing share to startups, they may be poised to become the new go-to for consumers seeking comfort and familiarity and not wanting to waste money experimenting with new things, RBC analyst Nik Modi said recently, adding that bigger brands also have supply chains that can better help ensure items are in stock. 

“Consumers are migrating back to big brands,” he said on P&G’s earnings conference call Friday.

Related on Forbes: Coronavirus has given the upper hand back to CPG giants

Related on Forbes: Amazon may test all 840,000 employees on coronavirus, pressuring other companies to follow suit

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