Beauty and nail salons among fastest-growing business types

Published 02nd Apr 2024 by Ellen Cummings

The number of beauty and nail salons saw a net increase in 2023 from the previous year, according to new data from Local Data Company (LDC).

Retail location data company LDC has released its FY 2023 Retail and Leisure Trends Analysis, along with input from its parent company, real estate intelligence and analytics company Green Street.  

The report provides an insight into openings and closures of bricks-and-mortar retail and leisure businesses in Great Britain’s high streets, retail parks, shopping centres and standalone locations.

Overall, there was a rise in closures across all relevant industries included in the report, including beauty businesses, restaurants, fashion retail stores, estate agents and chemists, among others.

The number of GB-wide closures increased from 48,694 units in 2022 to 55,514 units in 2023, signifying a 14% year-on-year increase and the highest closures figure reported in the last decade.

The report cites a number of reasons for this increase in closures including elevated interest rates, rising operational costs and a higher cost of goods.

For businesses providing beauty services, this might include the rising cost of beauty products needed to provide beauty treatments, from hair removal and spray tanning to nail polish manicures and nail art.

Despite more stores closing, there was a 5% increase in new store openings from 45,329 in 2022 to 47,744 in 2023. 

Which businesses are growing fastest?

Barbering businesses in Great Britain grew quickly in 2023, reaching pre-pandemic levels with 665 new units. This was 441 more units than the previous year. 

Nail salons were the fourth fastest-growing retail category, with a net increase of 302 units in 2023.

In more positive beauty salon news, beauty salons followed in fifth place with a net increase of 254 units in 2023. 

Meanwhile, hair salons were among the fastest-declining businesses, with a net loss of 752 units.

How successful are independent businesses?

Independent businesses had a tough 2023 compared to businesses with multiple units.

Following two consecutive years of growth, independent businesses saw closures peak with a net decline of 2,827 units in 2023. 

The report suggests this is because of rising operational costs, the energy crisis, rising interest rates and low consumer confidence, as well as the relative difficulty of absorbing costs as an independent business. 

The categories that saw the greatest declines in independents were hairdressers (-705), estate agents (-337), newsagents (-238) and hair & beauty salons (-232).

Combined, these accounted for 53% of the net change in independent units over 2023. 

You can download the full FY 2023 Retail and Leisure Trends Analysis report here.

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Ellen Cummings

Ellen Cummings

Published 02nd Apr 2024

Ellen Cummings is the senior content writer at Professional Beauty, working across the magazine and online. Contact her at [email protected]

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