The significant easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China should have brought back consumers and given the global brands a boost in sales. However, having lifted restrictions in Shanghai, certain areas of the city were then placed in lockdown again the following day.

This follows China's strict policy of a zero tolerance approach to COVID-19 with continuing mass testing, quarantines and local lockdowns commonplace.

Comments that the world's largest economy is returning to normal are exaggerated. Brands should be aware that it will take years not months before currency fluctuations, increased freight costs, supply chain issues and consumer confidence will return to anywhere near pore-pandemic levels.