The Estée Lauder Companies has announced additional initiatives in response to COVID-19 -- and the challenges the company faces, and all beauty businesses are experiencing during this global pandemic.
The company stated it intends to continue to support its employees, consumers, stockholders and communities -- through donations, and more. In addition, the companies' executives are facing pay cuts -- scroll down for more details.
Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer, comments, “As COVID-19 has expanded globally in recent weeks, we remain first and foremost focused on the health and well-being of our employees, beauty advisors and consumers. As a company, we are continuing to find meaningful ways to lend our support as the world fights this health crisis. We are also taking actions to optimize our cost structure, in light of ongoing temporary store closures in many regions, and to enhance our liquidity during this unprecedented time.”
Freda continues, “I am inspired by the continued resilience, collaboration, creativity, and—most importantly—heart of our employees, which are guided by our company values. In this moment, their commitment and the desirability of our brands and their hero franchises are leading to an acceleration of our online sales growth. I am confident that the actions we are taking will enable us to effectively navigate through this challenging environment with agility and position us well for the recovery, much as we are starting to see in our Asia/Pacific region as stores reopen.”
Supporting Healthcare Workers, Hospitals & More
- The Estée Lauder brand is donating two million surgical masks for front-line workers in New York as part of our continued effort towards COVID-19 relief. (Photo above via Instagram/EsteeLauder)
- Clinique is donating 50,000 skin care products as a thank you to the doctors and nurses in New York City's hospitals. (Photo above via Instagram/Clinique)
- MAC Cosmetics' VIVA GLAM Fund will be allocating $10 million to 250 local organizations all over the world that are providing essential needs and services to people at higher risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Effect on Retail & Manufacturing
As a result of COVID-19 Directives, most retail stores in The Americas and Europe, the Middle East & Africa, whether operated by the Estée Lauder Companies or its customers, have been closed since mid-March. However, in recent weeks, many retail stores have been reopening in Asia/Pacific, and sales growth of the Company’s products online has accelerated globally.
The Estée Lauder Companies' manufacturing facilities continue to manufacture and distribute products globally, but in a reduced capacity.
The Estée Lauder Companies is prioritizing areas of growth and cash generation, with expanded cost control measures that to include optimizing advertising and promotion spending, delaying certain capital investments, restricting business travel, and ceasing non-essential hires and certain professional services.
The company is also reducing salaries, effective May 1 through October 31, 2020.
- William P. Lauder, executive chairman and Fabrizio Freda, president & chief executive officer will take a 50% pay cut. The executive leadership team's salaries will be reduced by 30%, and other management by 10% - 20%.
- Leonard A. Lauder, chairman emeritus, and Ronald S. Lauder, chairman of Clinique Laboratories will reduce their salaries by nearly 100%.
- In addition, the Board of Directors will forgo their cash retainers through November 2020.
Expanding Health Coverage Benefits
Due to many employees working from home -- often while homeschooling children and/or taking care of their elderly family members, the Estée Lauder Companies is offering expanded family-related benefits for its employees.
The company is offering reimbursement to full-time U.S. employees for child- and elder-care secured through personal networks through April 30th, and the benefit has been expanded to certain regularly scheduled U.S. part-time employees, in an effort to support as many employees as possible through this unprecedented time.
The Estée Lauder Companies is also contributing to the broader COVID-19 relief efforts by producing hand sanitizer in the U.S., UK and Belgium manufacturing facilities for high-need groups and populations, including front-line medical staff. (Check out the video below showing the hand sanitizer production line via Clinique on Instagram.)
The company previously announced its funding for the establishment of The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund -- read more about this and the efforts being made by other global beauty companies in the Online Exclusive, Global Beauty Companies React To COVID-19
#Regram @esteelaudercompanies: Behind-the-scenes at our Melville, New York manufacturing facility, where compensated employee volunteers are working on the production of hand sanitizer for high-need groups, including front-line medical staff 💪🏽💪🏿 In addition to Melville, our UK-based manufacturing facility is also producing hand sanitizer at this time. Learn about ELC’s global COVID-19 relief efforts on our website at the #linkinbio #ELCfamily