Beauty and hair salons growing faster than any other business
495 new beauty salons opened in the UK in 2018, despite it being one of the toughest trading years in recent times for high-street retailers.
Figures from Local Data Company’s Retail and Leisure Market Analysis Full Year 2018 report showed that beauty salons and barbershops were the top two business types keeping high street trading buoyant.
Beauty salons increased their rate of expansion, with 495 new openings compared to 388 in 2017, which was itself a successful year for beauty business trading.
Though nail salon openings slowed slightly to +166 compared to +176 in 2017, the report found that service retail was the only classification to see an improvement year on year in its net unit numbers.
In addition, retailers within the health, beauty and wellbeing category continued to dominate the top 10 categories for growth, occupying 40% of the list. Beauty salons were the second top rising business after barbershops, of which there was a net increase of 813 units.
Although shopping centres saw the biggest net decline of the location types in 2018 – also including high streets and retail parks – beauty salon presence within them increased by 28 units.
Lucy Stainton, head of retail and strategic partnerships at Local Data Company, commented: “Beneath some undeniably stark high-level numbers we can see a multitude of emerging trends and brands that hint at a very bright, diverse future for our high streets. This is shown particularly by two years of strong growth in more service-led categories such as barbers and beauty salons... My prediction for the remainder of 2019 would be the continued, albeit slower growth of the health and beauty services we saw in 2018.”
Commenting on the results, Hilary Hall, chief executive of the Naitonal Beauty Federation, added, “While this is great news and shows that services which cannot be offered online are thriving, the continued growth of hair and beauty businesses means that many high streets are now saturated. The effect is that there are too many salons competing for the same clients. Increasing competition, rising costs, including higher than inflation increases to the minimum wage and increased pension contributions, as well as uncertainty over Brexit, rising rents and business rates are all making it harder for salons to make a profit.”
Read our top tips for tracking your own salon's performance.