Britain’s biggest beauty kings and queens revealed

Despite reports of UK consumers tightening their purse strings, beauty kings and queens across the country have pumped over £100 million into the industry this summer.

In particular, barber and beauty salons saw a 6% increase in summer sales volumes compared with last year, showing the UK’s appetite for beauty continues to be strong, according to data from payment services company Worldpay.

Worldpay’s analysis of UK consumer spending over the summer months suggests that events including the royal wedding and ITV2 show Love Island contributed to helping keep Britain’s beauty businesses busy.

While the day of the royal wedding was quiet, the week before and after saw beauty-related spending up almost 7% on last year. Similarly, in the first two weeks of this year’s cult reality TV show Love Island, the average number of beauty-related purchases in the UK rose 7.3% compared to last year. Spending volumes in salons also increased by an impressive 14.5% the day after the first episode aired and 9.3% the day after glamour model Megan Barton Hanson entered the villa.

It’s not just Dani Dyer doing Essex proud: Worldpay’s analysis found that the residents of Uttlesford, Essex, reign as Britain’s biggest beauty kings and queens. Neighbours of the Love Island winner spent 27% more on beauty over the summer period than in 2017. Northern beauties were pipped at the post this year, with Carlisle and York coming in second and third

Representing the capital, Southwark is home to London’s most prolific beauties, up 16% compared to last year, and Dundee flies the flag for Scotland, up 15%.

While the Northerners just missed out on the crown for this year, the North East wins the award for the biggest Love Island impact, with a massive 12.9% increase in spending over the first week of the show this year. Yorkshire and The Humber caught the royal wedding fever, with beauty businesses seeing an 11.3% increase in transaction volumes across the wedding period.

2018's biggest beauty kings and queens:

1. Uttlesford, Essex - with summer spend up 27% year-on-year
2. Carlisle - up 22%
3. York - up 21%
4. London Borough of Southwark - up 16%
5. Dundee - up 15%

Steve Newton, executive vice president of Worldpay, UK and Europe, said: “It’s great to see appetite for beauty remains strong, and that consumers are spending more on treatments in barber shops and beauty salons. The busy British summer seems to have enhanced this positive spending trend, with Love Island and the royal wedding both correlating with peaks in footfall.

“Now the summer sun is starting to die down, beauty businesses can still keep customers coming through the doors. Using social media to engage with customers, or improving online offerings for faster booking or payments can help to keep customers coming back. In the beauty business, customer service is still king – those who get it right might just win the crown next year.

All figures come from analysis of UK card transaction data for health and beauty spas, barber and beauty shops and cosmetic stores processed by Worldpay during the May 12 to July 9, 2017 and 2018.

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