22 October 2018

New figures released last week showed that, for the first time, the number of salons offering just hairdressing has started to decline, with more salons closing than opening, especially over the last year.  Over the same period, the number of beauty salons, nail salons and hair and beauty salons has risen. 

Commenting on this trend on today’s BBC Radio 4 You and Yours programme, NHF/NBF chief executive Hilary Hall said, “Within our own membership of 5000+ hair salons, barbershops and beauty salons, we’ve seen the number of salons offering both hair and beauty rise steadily. 

We set up the new National Beauty Federation to provide a one-stop shop for business support for all salons

“A few years ago, around a third of our members offered hair and beauty whereas today it’s 44%, almost half of our membership.  That’s why we set up the new National Beauty Federation to provide a one-stop shop for business support for all salons, whether they offer just hair, just beauty or both hair and beauty.”

Beauty is expected to be the fastest growing sector over the next 5 years.  As well as an increase in salons providing beauty treatments, beauty retail is also expected to grow with supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s announcing ambitious plans to expand their beauty retail offering.  They are also capitalising on the growing trend for affordable vegan beauty products, particularly amongst young people.

Hilary added, “We’ve also seen a big growth in barbershops, with many of them providing male grooming services for today’s more image-focussed male clientele.  It makes sense for hair salons to diversify and provide ‘added value’ services to time-poor clients who would pay extra for a manicure or a facial or having their eyebrows shaped when they’re already in the salon anyway for a hair colour.  It’s all about understanding your market and what clients want and would be willing to pay for.”

“However, growing competition and a saturated market means that salons and barbershops are not only competing against each other for clients, but they are also competing for experienced and qualified staff, with salons up and down the country reporting recruitment difficulties.  Added challenges such as rising employment costs and business rates are making it hard for them all to survive in the tough conditions they face on today’s high street.”

Figures produced by The Local Data Company 17 October 2018.

Listen to BBC Radio 4

Listen to Hilary Hall on the BBC Radio 4 You and Yours programme, which was aired on Monday 22 October by visiting https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0000sz3 You will be required to sign into the website. Please note that Hilary features 31 minutes into the programme.