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NHBF Report demonstrates full impact of coronavirus on hair and beauty

December 17, 2020

The NHBF Key Industry Statistics 2020 demonstrates the continued growth of the hair and beauty industry prior to COVID-19, highlighting the pandemic’s devasting impact on one of the UK’s most resilient and strong sectors, and adding to fears that without further government financial support it may never recover.

The report, compiled in exclusive association with the Local Data Company (LDC), shows that at the beginning of the year barbershops, beauty salons and nail salons were the top three retail categories that saw the highest growth in the UK – above supermarkets, coffee shops, takeaways and pizza shops.

According to the Office for National Statistics there are nearly 45,000 hair and beauty salon businesses in the UK (a rise of over 1,000 since last year), which generated over £8bn in turnover in 2018, up from £7.5bn in 2017.

And the industry had continued to prop up ailing high streets, with hair and beauty businesses having higher survival rates after five years than many other sectors, in particular nail salons whose survival rate after five years was 69%.

These results are even more poignant in light of a recent NHBF Member survey (November 2020) in which 62% of salon owners could not be sure their business would survive until the end of the financial year in April 2021, with almost a third of that number (18%) explicitly sure they would have to close.

Richard Lambert, NHBF chief executive said, “The Key Industry Statistics report paints a picture of a robust and growing industry with business survival rates bucking the decline of the high street. It is characterised by a high percentage of female entrepreneurs, employs a significant number of young people and has embraced flexible working, with just over half working part-time.

However, this was before the coronavirus pandemic and we know from more targeted surveys of our Members the majority are struggling to recoup their losses from lockdowns, circuit breaks, social distancing measures and increased PPE. Whilst we appreciate these are all necessary, we continue to urge the government to provide further financial help to those salons and professionals to ensure the hair and beauty sector can return to where it was at the beginning of 2020.”

The full statistical tables are available free to NHBF Members, or for £250 to non-members.