As expected for the discretionary categories, cosmetics sales took a “beat” during the pandemic following the disruptions of COVID-19, said Ritesh Tiwari, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director, Finance and IT.
However, Tiwari said the company was “almost back”at pre-pandemic 2019 levels for a majority of discretionary categories, including cosmetics.
“On color cosmetics, in particular, we’re about at 2019 levels. So business has picked up with the return of mobility. And we expect that with the great work that the government has done on vaccination, we should be able to see an improvement in mobility which should still go down well for color cosmetics companies,” he said during the company’s September 2021 quarterly earnings conference.
One of the company’s biggest drivers in the color cosmetics category was its flagship brand, Lakmé.
With the holiday season approaching, Lakmé launched a range of limited edition lipsticks and also launched Lumi Cream, a lightweight moisturizer with a hint of shimmer to give skin a “3D glow”. .
In addition to launching new products and improving its product offering, the company has also strengthened its digital presence through social media and its own direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform.
“We are also very pleased with the growing digital presence of the Lakmé brand. Not only is Lakmé India the most followed beauty brand on Instagram, but we have two million monthly visitors to our D2C website, and 30% of Lakmé’s sales are through digital channels,”said Tiwari.
According to the company, Lakmé has the highest number of Instagram followers among all Indian beauty brands.
He added that the company will not only focus on Lakmé’s online presence, but will also continue to build its offline presence, especially as footfall improves as concerns about the pandemic diminish.
“We’re very clear, wherever consumers find it safer and more convenient to go shopping, we’ll be there, whether it’s beauty counters in a mall when things open up and life seems more healthier and more comfortable for people to visit or, importantly, on an online shopping experience from our portfolio and then take advantage of the range we offer. So, we will have our game in modern commerce, general commerce and online as needed to boost the company’s sales.
Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and CEO, added that while newly entrenched e-commerce habits will persist, it will not diminish the role of brick and mortar in India.
“COVID-19 has, of course, given e-commerce a big boost, and we believe these habits will continue to apply to consumers as they get used to the convenience and assortment available online. line. Modern commerce stores, which were impacted by the closure of malls, came back strong in the quarter as the country opened up. And rightly so, like in a country, shopping is seen as an outing and an experience.