In Exclusives, Insight

Brexit, the referendum in the United Kingdom on the 23rd of June delivered a painful result for those who wanted to remain in the EU, and a joyous result for those who couldn’t wait to depart. I wasn’t aware of anyone in the beauty business who wanted to leave Europe. If you are running your own business, as I do, the last thing you want is uncertainty, and for many the choice to remain was based on the pragmatic assumption that leaving would make things worse, not better, would replace stability with uncertainty, and would raise alarms about the UK’s ability to remain a global player. The UK is an economic powerhouse – if you consider our geographical size and population – that with one day’s events, trembled under the global spotlight questioning its ability to flourish.Once the result was announced, many in the UK beauty industry expressed dismay. The UK’s cosmetic regulatory body expressed concern that once outside of the EU, we will be unable to yield any influence over the future of cosmetics product regulation and compliance. Brands voiced their thoughts on how trade tariffs might cause a severe burden on their ability to export. Fears were expressed that with a climate of uncertainty there might be a retail-led recession. Investors in beauty brands were spooked and spoke about how they might curtail or stop any further investment. A sense of gloom and despair settled over the beauty business for the first 2 weeks after the referendum. Not good news at all.

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