Italy’s makeup industry faces up to coronavirus

Pascale Ruchon

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Italy’s makeup industry faces up to coronavirus

The northern part of Italy, which accounts for around 65% of the world's makeup production, is facing an unprecedented challenge in light of the coronavirus crisis. For most of the major international brands, as well as many indie players, deliveries have become increasingly complicated over the last two weeks.

The makeup industry is particularly concentrated in Lombardy, with more than 590 companies totaling a turnover of more than €5.7bn. Manufacturers of cosmetic formulas have the biggest share of the region’s business, with sales of more than €3bn, while packaging suppliers and machine manufacturers report sales of more than €2bn and €365m euros respectively. The sector is all the more affected as it is highly export-oriented.

“We’ve found ourselves facing a global emergency that was both unpredicted and unpredictable,” explained Matteo Moretti, president of regional industry association Polo Technologico della Cosmesi, in a statement. Companies are continuing to work, but while adapting to numerous health measures, downsizing and limiting travel.

“The economic impact will be dealt with at a later stage,” noted Moretti, who is advocating the value of networking and emphasizing the need for effective communication. "It's important that we reassure clients, especially those abroad, that the merchandise is not contaminated and that Italian companies immediately adopted the preventative measures and sanitary guidelines outlined by the Ministry of Health and by the government.”

New project development and product manufacturing appear to be the most impacted. Economist Lorenzo Codogno told Reuters a few days ago that the epidemic could lead to a decrease of some 10% in Italy’s industrial production. This drop could very well be more significant for the cosmetics sector, causing a chain of disruptions on the global beauty market. The situation is indeed unpredictable and dependent on the end of the epidemic, which is hoped to occur within eight to twelve weeks.

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