India’s leading consumer care brand- HUL finally experiences pent up demand in non-essential categories such as hair-care, skin-care, and color cosmetics. However, the brand remains unsure of its achievement of pre-COVID sales.
Officials from the brand commented that they have resumed operations at all factories and warehouses except for the one in Assam. Suppliers who had halted operations in the initial period of the lockdown are now back in business, they added. “With mobility restrictions, the lockdown of retail spaces, and fear of loss of income, the impact on discretionary categories like hair care, skincare, and color cosmetics is more accentuated. While we are seeing some demand revival in these categories, the exact time which these categories will take to recover fully remains to be seen,” the company said in a stock exchange filing.
Long before the lockdown was announced, the state governments had taken preventive measures which included the sealing of borders, suspending transport services, restriction on deliveries owing to which, the brand and its suppliers had to halt operations, thus, impacting the business. But, with everything gradually adjusting to the new normal, the brand is also gaining its momentum back. The local unit of Anglo-Dutch Unilever witnessed its volume growth shrink by 7% during the March quarter, propelled by Covid-19, and the lockdown that disrupted both manufacturings as well as supply. However, the company said its operations improved to about 70% in April.
“Our operations across manufacturing sites, distribution centers, warehouses, and extended supply chain partner locations were disrupted. Immediately following the nationwide lockdown, operations came to a near standstill and we were able to operate at about 5% of the pre-COVID normative levels,” the statement added.