What the Omnicron variant means for the Scottish beauty industry

A third of all beauty appointments have been cancelled and up to 50% revenue loss for Scottish salons over Christmas

A THIRD of all beauty appointments have been cancelled and up to 50% revenue has been lost for Scottish salons over the Christmas period.

The Treasury announcement at the end of last year outlining financial support for businesses doesn’t go far enough in providing the support needed to keep the beauty industry on its feet, according to BABTAC (The British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology).

CEO and Chair of BABTAC, Lesley Blair commented: “The (Scottish) hair, beauty and holistic services industry was hit hard by the pandemic. According to research, 70% of businesses said they could not be sure their business would survive until the end of the financial year in 2021.”

Whilst the Scottish government announced updates to guidance, including increasing social distancing measures, there hasn’t been a high instance of the virus reported in Scottish beauty or hair salons so far. Despite this, there was a huge spike in last-minute cancellations over the usually busy Christmas period, as consumers felt understandably anxious about going about daily life in their ‘new normal’, and the potential implications for the sector are already concerning. 

A recent survey of BABTAC’s members found:

  • Over 20% of beauty professionals reported that they are seeing a third of all appointments being cancelled
  • 40% of salons lost between 20-50% of their revenue in December
  • Nearly 5% of salons lost between 75-100% of their revenue
  • This is especially concerning given that the average percentage of overall yearly revenue usually taken by salons in December is nearly 40% of their total earnings

BABTAC are therefore urging consumers to support their local beauty salons, by instead purchasing a gift voucher to be used at a later date if they need to cancel a pre-existing appointment. This small gesture could go a long way to keep individual therapists and even the whole of the beauty industry on its feet, until things become more certain.

Lesley Blair advised: “At this uncertain time for the beauty industry, it’s important to reiterate the need for beauty business owners to be extra vigilant and take it back to the basics when it comes to looking after their staff and customers alike.”

She continued: “It is paramount for beauty salons to continue to implement the essential safety measures that have been in place throughout the pandemic, such as practicing social distancing in waiting rooms, requiring mandatory mask-wearing for all therapists and clients in-salon, and following strict hygiene and PPE rules.”

Masks are once again mandatory by law for all staff and clients (unless exempt) in shops, however visors are not required. 

Shops must display clear signage or take other measures to make everyone aware of their legal obligation to wear a face covering. 

This also applies for close contact services taking place in someone’s home.

The latest government guidelines for beauty services can be found here.

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