Apr 12, 2021
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Return to offices in UK should boost beauty sector

Apr 12, 2021

The reopening of non-essential shops in much of the UK on April 12 and workers back in their offices mark a big step in the return to normality. It seems that key product categories are likely to benefit.

As consumers go back to their offices, they'll be wearing more make-up and career clothing - Photo: Public domain/Pexels

New data reveals Britons are increasingly readying themselves for a return to the office, according to retail technology firm NearSt.  

This should be good news for formal categories such as suits, dresses, skirts and shoes with heels. But it's particularly interesting that at present it seems to be benefiting the beauty sector.

NearSt, which encourages consumers into physical stores by connecting their products to the people searching nearby, said shoppers have shown signs of wanting to re-inject some colour back into their beauty routines and also to get themselves office or social-life-ready.

“Searches for lipstick in the energising and positive shade of red” rose by 30% in the first two weeks of March, it said. And wider demand for make-up swelled. Searches for foundation rose 22%, eyeliner by 242%, highlighter by 266% and primer by 120%.

The data also showed that as well as wearing make-up, consumers have been investing in products that make them feel generally well groomed. Shoppers have increasingly hunted for razors (+66%), hair removal cream (+400%) and waxing strips (300%) on high streets locally. There has also been a burst of enthusiasm and appetite for fragrances, with perfume searches up 480%.

All that was identified by analysing localised product search data for England, Scotland and Wales through its platform.

The increased search activity follows official UK figures showing that more British people returned to their offices after schools in England reopened on March 8. The reopening of non-essential stores this month also means that not only are large numbers of retail workers returning to their jobs, but office workers connected to retail businesses are doing the same and other office workers will also be drifting back. That’s happening even though a hybrid office and home-based working model is likely to become the norm for many people.

“The pandemic has evolved many of our habits - from how we work, to what we wear, to how we shop.” saidNearSt co-founder, Nick Brackenbury.
“Loungewear replaced formalwear, slippers overtook heels and with minimal real life interactions, make-up increasingly made its way to the back of the bathroom cabinet. With many discovering untouched items have seen better days, this snapshot reveals a burst of activity as the loosening of lockdown started to take effect.
“Whether it was sharpening up our look for the school run or a return to the office, the data paints a picture of Zoom to groom.”

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