UK high street will have 56,484 beauty and hair outlets by 2023

The number of independent beauty businesses is set to increase by 7,852 outlets in the next five years, the highest level of any business sector on the high street, according to research by Global Data and American Express. As a result, there will be 56,484 independent beauty and hair outlets across the nation by 2023.

The growth is being driven by the rise in the amount consumers are willing to spend on their appearance, with the data revealing that the nation spends £7.62 billion on independent beauty services. Millennials (22–36 year olds) are driving the increase in consumer spending, accounting for more than a quarter of all spending in beauty and hair salons and barbers, with an average spend of £281 beautifying themselves every year.

Within the hair and beauty retail sector as a whole, the research found that beauty salons, which included brow bars, waxing salons and massage, as well as nail bars, are predicted to experience the greatest growth in terms of numbers of outlets, with 2,810 more on British high streets by 2023.

“Independent retail entrepreneurs were early to spot the opportunity to offer a range of beauty services to consumers, from waxing and weaving to braiding and beard trimming,” said Caroline Bouvet, vice president at American Express.

“The beauty economy is a growing part of our high street and demonstrates how quick independent retailers are to adapt to shifting demands from consumers. With our passion for grooming booming, we hope everyone will remember their local independents by shopping small this Small Business Saturday and beyond.”

The research comes ahead of Small Business Saturday, of which American Express is the founder and principal supporter. Taking place on December 1, 2018, thousands of retailers, dozens of local councils and business groups will encourage the nation to shop small ahead of the festive season.