Salon sector expanding, but independents stand strong

Eve Oxberry's Editor's Letter, September 2014

Eve Oxberry Professional Beauty

With the news that salon businesses are booming and now contribute some £4bn to the UK economy, it’s no surprise that large companies from outside the treatments sector are getting in on the act. 

TV network FashionTV is gearing up to launch a series of salons that promise makeovers to help clients feel like a model ahead of a catwalk show – though without the stress and five-minute turnaround times of backstage at Fashion Week. 

Meanwhile Superdrug has launched its first Beauty Studio with plans to roll out the concept if successful. This is not the first in-store treatment model from Superdrug and its success remains to be seen but the retailer’s continued push into the beauty services market shows confidence in its growth. Read more about both in the September issue of Professional Beauty. 

We also look at some of the biggest traditional spa and beauty businesses that have stood the test of time, exploring Urban Retreat’s new hammam and Pennyhill Park Spa’s plans for growth. 

But while the giants are great for inspiration, most of our market is made up of far smaller businesses whose owners work their socks off running the treatments, marketing, sales and finance, often singlehandedly. I visited one of the smallest this month and was impressed with the planning and passion behind this one-room start-up. Read more about Azure Beauty in the magazine. 

Azure’s owners made the leap to go it alone but many other therapists choose to progress their careers via promotion into management roles. Our September issue also uncovers the essential skills that the most experienced employers are looking for and their tips for how to attain and present them. 

Whichever route you choose, finding ways to fill empty slots in the appointment book will always be high on your agenda. And with the quieter autumn months approaching, we asked the experts for their tips on getting clients through the doors and staying ahead the competition, in whatever new forms that may come. Read their advice on page 129 of PB September.