Estée Lauder vice president of global supply chain planning Frank Maassen has said the beauty giant does not anticipate any “major disruptions” to customers as a result of the supply chain issues in the Red Sea.

Speaking to Retail Week at Retail’s Big Show in New York, Maassen said while lead times have been extended he does not anticipate that customers will experience any “major disruptions” as a result.

“We have a team in Europe that are managing this very closely. For us, right now, we are extending our lead times based on this. We are producing a little earlier so that we can take the roundabout so it arrives on time,” he said.

“That is the biggest impact at the moment but we don’t foresee any major disruptions towards our customers.”

He added that any increase in shipping costs would be “temporary” and come as a result of the containers spending longer time on the water.

With an eye to other challenges impacting the beauty industry, Maassen noted the continued impact of VAT on overseas spending and the unpredictability of Chinese tourists.

Reflecting on the past few years, he said: “What we’re still going through and trying to forecast as quickly as possible is the return of the Chinese travelling consumer. We had a prolonged lockdown there and we are now in a slower economy in China.

“It remains a challenge to forecast the spend of these travelling consumers because they’re not spending as they did pre-pandemic.”

Figures provided by the New West End Company in November that showed while arrivals from China were only down 2% compared to 2019, spend had dropped by 58%.