This must be a very sad day for anyone who grew up in a household where department store makeup was an expensive luxury reserved only for your estranged, wealthy aunt. Because the Chanel of drugstore makeup, Revlon, just announced it’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. That’s right, after 90 years, Revlon is being taken to the security wing of the home for aging cosmetics companies as they figure out how to move forward financially. But it’s not like they want to go to that big pot of compact powder in the sky. and it all by Rihanna fault! AND by Kylie Jenner! And pretty much every other makeup company that cornered young people’s wallets.
Revlon launched in 1932, a much simpler time when you could put lead in one of its three lipstick colors and no one batted an eye. Revlon has become a highly successful cosmetics company. I’m pretty sure everyone on Earth has at some point gotten their hands around a ubiquitous piece of Revlon makeup and felt the glamor wash over them (there was a serious time when I wore a tube of Silver City Pink all the way to the mailbox). plastic and felt invincible despite that icy lipstick washing my face in Casper territory). Revlon is clearly not the queen of the pharmacy aisles as it once was, because Revlon is in deep financial trouble. There were rumors that Revlon was planning on going into Chapter 11, and that’s exactly what happened on Wednesday. via NBC News:
The company said it expects to receive $575 million in debtor financing held by its existing creditor base, which will help support its day-to-day operations. The order “will enable Revlon to offer our consumers the iconic products we’ve delivered for decades, while providing a clearer path for our future growth,” Revlon President and CEO Debra Perelman said in a statement to Revlon. press release on Thursday morning.
Revlon adds that filing for bankruptcy will help them navigate “macroeconomic issues”, which they describe as kind of sounding like supply chain problems. They claim that they are currently not able to supply around 1/3 of consumer demand for their products and that is because things are taking so long to arrive in the US from China (like makeup components). Also, another big reason for filing for bankruptcy was the pandemic. Revlon says production costs are nearly four times what they were since 2019. NBC News points out that Revlon was in trouble at the start of the pandemic, when a ton of people were stuck at home rather than in stores buying markers and eyebrow pencils. , but which avoided bankruptcy because of some debt restructuring.
But one cherries in the snow– well taken care of finger should not be pointed only at the pandemic. NBC News says Revlon saw money problems because they couldn’t figure out how to get kids to drop Fenty and get some Revlon.
Its 2020 sales of about $1.9 billion are down 21% from 2019 levels. While the business has recovered in 2021, Revlon’s revenue is still below pre-pandemic levels.
Start-ups like Glossier, Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty have also challenged Revlon in the race for younger consumer dollars.
Revlon may try to figure out its financial woes by getting rid of some of its current brands, like Elizabeth Arden, Cutex, Almay and, most surprisingly, Britney Spears Fragrances. But it’s an open question. If they really wanted to corner the TikTok generation, my suggestion would be to take advantage of Gen Z’s obsession with all things ’90s nostalgia and relaunch all the makeup from their Street Wear line. This should get them out of the hole in about 6 minutes. And if they want to sustain that financial success, then it’s time to draw the big guns: a national launch of Revlon Outrageous shampoo and conditioner. I’ve been chasing this perfume for decades and will happily pay $40 a bottle. Sign me up for four $10 payments with Klarna, put me on a high interest deposit plan – I don’t care. I NEED IT.
Photograph: INSTALL images