COVID-19 Impact Puts Salon Industry on Survival Mode
In a world where most economies are bracing for the worst possible scenario that results from a pandemic like the Novel Coronavirus Disease, not many industries can escape the consequences for long. Needless to say, a high-contact sector like the salon industry is one of the first casualties as clients begin to cancel appointments to practise social distancing as recommended by experts.
Despite the best of assurances regarding hygiene and safety, several doubts arise in our minds. Guidelines set by the WHO and updates from government authorities are the best bet for useful information. Following these, several industries are in the process of setting up a pandemic protocol to ensure maximum safety for all stakeholders. However, for the salon industry, this is a bigger challenge.
The current turmoil is not only caused by dropping revenues but also the struggle to keep businesses open during the COVID-19 prevention lockdown in several states. While many have already shut shop, others are coping with the recommended precautionary measures.
Open for Business But Not as Usual
Enrich, Bespoke, Bounce, Geetanjali, Nail Spa By Gurpreet, Time Machine, June Tomkyns, Nikhil Sharma Hairdressing, LOOKS, and Bon Temps, to name a few, are salon brands who have taken immediate steps to fight the threat to business and assure safety to their clients. They are stocking up on sanitizers, disinfecting tools and stations, and deep-cleaning the salon space as often as possible. Salon staff are also undergoing crash courses on maintaining respiratory hygiene and updated on preventive measures.
Enrich was one of the first Indian salon brands to highlight the issue on social media and spread the message ”Precaution Begins with You”. “When we perform a service we use mono-dose packs. All products for your service come in a sealed pack that is opened only once and only for you. This way single packs multiply hygiene and safety,” states the post.
On a Break for Safety’s Sake
A few others like Savio John Pereira Salons and Kromakay have closed their shutters until further notice. Savio’s social media announcement states, “In the light of the current health situation due to Coronavirus and to ensure the health and safety of our team and customers, we at Savio John Pereira Salons have taken a conscientious decision to keep our salons closed as a preventive measure to help contain the spread. Savio John Pereira Salons will remain closed from 17th March 2020 onwards till further notice.”
The slowdown in revenue is the immediate result of the ongoing situation. “The impact is already a 50% drop in clients and revenues. Already our salons in malls are closed. We haven’t even seen the peak of this pandemic. These next few months are going to be extremely challenging. I hope we don’t pay the price of human lives as some China and Italy have endured. God speed to all and stay safe!” said Vikram Mohan – CEO & Co-founder, Spalon India
Veer Kaul – Director, Headmasters Salons points out how deep the threat runs for salon businesses. He says, “Covid-9 will severely impact the business. Impact of Demonetisation and other government orders had as it is slowed down consumption. Lower consumption meant a more competitive market scenario, resulting in lower operating margins. Salons and Spas are predominantly high fixed-cost businesses and have been suffering on account of low capacity utilisation. Covid-19 will cascade this further and immediately, jobs losses will happen. If the situation does not improve in the next 30 days the shutdowns will start. In regard to how we are managing Coronavirus threat at Headmasters, we have heightened our health and safety checks. Staff and equipment are sanitised daily. Customers are advised to follow safe practices too.”
Keeping in mind the ongoing situation. We encourage all our staff members to work on an alternate day basis. Managers Managers will be preparing roasters where half of their team works one day and the other half on the next day. We have taken this step to keeping the health and convenience of our team in mind. — Sanjay Dutta, Founder & Owner, LOOKS Salon.