Reliable data is vital in our disparate industry

One thing our industry is short on is reliable data. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked by people entering the market how many beauty salons there are in the UK. With salons opening and closing on a seemingly weekly basis, it’s almost impossible to get an accurate figure.

In fact, new stats from Habia, which we discuss on page 13, show that 33% of UK salons opened within the last two years. Add to that confusion about how to classify home-based salons, day spas, and hairdressers that do a bit of beauty, and numbers become increasingly debatable.

However, statistics that help those salons benchmark their businesses and plan for growth are our bread and butter at Professional Beauty. We compile our monthly Insider statistics through phone calls to salons, spas and nail salons every month and the data always gives readers a rough guide to growth areas, challenges and threats to business.

So as a new year dawns and the 2013 trends predictions come pouring in from salon service providers and product houses, we’ve grounded our full 2013 forecast in data, with statistics from some of the country’s leading analysts shared exclusively with Professional Beauty.

While it may be impossible to know how every business in the country is performing, the treatment and retail statistics you’ll read in this issue provide a backdrop to the key areas to watch in 2013.

From nail textures to make-up treatments to smarter cosmeceuticals, our forecast is peppered with examples of what key spas, salons and suppliers have in store. But for a more in-depth look at what keeps some of the nation’s leading operators at the top of their game, our annual Most Inspiring Spas line up, also in this issue, reveals the 2013 plans of the spas you voted as most inspirational. Memberships, corporate wellness, and technology are all high on the agenda.

We hope some of the advice on these pages help you kick off a happy and prosperous new year!