Will the post-pandemic era be America’s next Roaring ‘20s?
On L’Oréal’s recent quarterly call, Jean-Paul Agon, CEO, predicted that once the pandemic subsides, a “Roaring ‘20s” boom will deliver huge upside for the beauty category.
“When the COVID [is] gone, people will be happy to go out again, to celebrate, to socialize and this will be like in the famous Roaring ‘20s,” he said. “This will be the fiesta of makeup and fragrances.”
The Roaring ‘20s refers to the period of economic prosperity and creative and cultural renaissance Western society experienced in the wake of World War I and the 1918 flu pandemic.
At the least, some see the huge pent-up demand to socialize benefiting hotels, casinos, cruise ships and restaurants. Hasbro’s CEO Brian Goldner believes a rush back to theaters will boost toy franchises tied to movie releases. He recently told The Wall Street Journal, “I think you’re going to see a Roaring ‘20s kind of snap back,” he said.
Categories such as beauty and fashion that support socializing are expected to likewise rebound strongly.
“We are in that limbo right now — waiting for life to start up again, waiting for that black and white moment to burst into full color,” American designer Anna Sui recently told the Financial Times. “Everyone is feeling that same way, all this pent-up creativity and energy. It’s going to be like the Roaring ’20s.”
More boldly, some see enough parallels to last century’s era to predict a period of economic prosperity. Similar to the arrival of electrification, the internal combustion engine and the assembly line a century ago, the accelerated adoption of technologies such as videoconferencing, e-commerce, artificial intelligence and cloud computing may drive hyper-growth in the years ahead.
In December, UCLA economists predicted “a gloomy COVID winter and an exuberant vaccine spring,” followed by an economic surge that would deliver robust growth at least through 2023.
“Right now, we are experiencing the artificial intelligence revolution and this revolution will accelerate the pace of technological change to levels that we have not seen before,” Max Fraser, a history professor at the University of Miami, recently told his university’s local e-magazine. “The change that is coming will dwarf the 1920s.”
- L’Oreal SA Fourth Quarter 2020 Conference Call – L’Oreal/Yahoo Finance
- New York Fashion Week: ‘It’s going to be like the roaring ’20s’ – The Financial Times
- Hasbro, Mattel Say Toy Boom to Extend Beyond Covid-19 – The Wall Street Journal
- Get ready for another roaring ’20s, UCLA economic forecast predicts – Los Angeles Times
- ‘Roaring 20s’ after the pandemic? Big banks warn be careful what you wish for – CNBC
- The 1920s Roared After a Pandemic, and the 2020s Will Try – Bloomberg
- Forecast predicts another Roaring ’20s – Miami.edu
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What parallels do you see between the Roaring ‘20s of the twentieth century and the current decade? Do you expect to see a period of economic prosperity and cultural upheaval reminiscent of that time in history?