S. Korean cosmetics industry struggles to recover from aftermaths of COVID-19 pandemic

By Park Sae-jin Posted : December 26, 2023, 16:09 Updated : December 26, 2023, 16:09
SEOUL -- South Korea's cosmetics industry, which took a hard hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, is struggling to recover from the aftermath of the period of isolation and social distancing, data released by the central bank showed.

When the first wave of the pandemic hit South Korea in February 2020, the government imposed heavy quarantine guidelines that had people grounded at home to prevent the spread of the infectious disease. Also, the government mandated people to wear facemasks in indoor environments.

Because people covered their faces with masks, sales of cosmetics products plummeted. According to the national statistical information service, the cosmetics industry saw an overall deficit of six trillion won ($4.6 billion), compared to sales of 47 trillion won recorded in 2019. An annual deficit of four trillion won was recorded in 2021.

Data released by the Bank of Korea on December 26 showed that a total credit card transaction of 182.9 billion won was recorded in August 2023, hitting the lowest-ever monthly cosmetics sales mark since March 2020 (184.3 billion won).

When the pandemic hit South Korea and sales of cosmetics were sluggish, the central bank analyzed that the wearing of masks and social distancing caused the decline in market demand for cosmetics products. However, the cosmetics industry is still struggling to recover its sales. The average monthly cosmetics sales in 2023 is less than 200 billion won.
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