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Hairdressers – Smaller Salons May Need To Consolidate To Survive

Apr 15, 2020
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While hairdressers are hoping to be swamped once the lockdown lifts, smaller salons may need to consolidate to survive.

New Zealand Association of Registered Hairdressers chair Niq James said the industry had essentially lost at least one rotation of clients, and therefore income, due to the alert level four lockdown.

Unlike their Australian counterparts, which were deemed an essential service, hairdressers and barbers in New Zealand had to closed their doors.

James said that was absolutely the right move both for workers and the public, but it came with economic pain.

“There’s only a certain amount of hours you can stand on a salon floor, so if we think it’s [the lockdown] going to be a four or five-week period, that’s the average time that people have their hair cut,” he said.

“So you’ve lost a whole rotation of clients in there, so you’ve lost a whole set of income. In that next five-week block you can’t do double the amount of clients, because you’ve only got that same amount of time to do the work.”

Invercargill based Retro Hair D-Zine have just launched their website to accept online orders in order to get some sort of cash flow.

Retro Hair D-Zine’s Director Joshua Harrington said “Setting up a website was a no-brainer and allows us to have some sort of income during the pandemic. While the government subsidy has helped us cover a portion of wages, there is rent and other outgoings that still need to be paid while we are closed.”

“We don’t know how long this [lockdown] will last – so many salons will need to adapt to the current conditions or sadly have to close for good.” He added.

“This is really a rough time, and it’s difficult to see what level 3 will look like for us as a salon because we still need to be in close contact with our clients. It’s likely we will be unable to operate fully until we are back to alert level 2.”

In the past, hairdressers and barbers had done okay during economic downturns as people’s shrinking disposable moved from big ticket items, such as travel, to more manageable spends like a haircut.

James expected salons would be busy once the lockdown lifted.

“I think we will probably be quite busy,” he said.

“There’s the social aspect of it as well – some of it is just catching up with people – but they’ll have their hair done as well.”

However, he expected some smaller businesses might struggle coming out of the lockdown.

“Salon-wise we may find some smaller like-minded salons that join together under the one building so their overheads are cut,” he said.

“The other thing is a collective of like-minded businesses getting together, so it might be a news agent, a cafe and a salon getting together.”

All industries would need to adjust to the economic realities of Covid-19, and the beauty industry would not be exempt.

Source: rnz.co.nz Republished by arrangement.

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