Covid-19: what is the impact of containment on hairdressing salons and beauty salons?

Based on a survey of all trade shows that used Wavy over a period from January 2019 to October 2020. This article provides an overview of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on hair salons, beauty salons and barbershops. 

Please note that the study ends on October 31, i.e. before the second containment. The study will be updated in January 2021.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to significantly affect the hair and beauty industry. Many are struggling to adapt to the sudden changes that have affected the operation of their establishments.

Not to mention the forced closures that inevitably damage this sector, which contributes more than 6 billion euros to the French economy. This has been a bitter pill to swallow and has left many professionals angry.

A sector particularly affected by the coronavirus crisis

The economic extent of the Covid-19 pandemic on the beauty sector (mainly hairdressing salons and beauty institutes) is still difficult to ascertain. We will have to wait several months before establishing a precise statement. However, even though salons have obviously been hard hit, the sector seems to be showing a form of resilience. 

Over the January-October period, the trade fairs show an average loss of €13,500 in turnover compared to 2019. This represents more than 13% loss of turnover.

Obviously, the forced 8-week closure between March and early May is the big culprit. 

In April, there was a clear loss of turnover of almost 100% compared to April 2019. In March, the situation is the same, with a loss of 53.76% (as a reminder, containment began on 17 March at midnight). 

Over these two months, hair salons and beauty salons lost nearly €17,000 in turnover, or 14% of the turnover for the year 2019. 

With the second containment, it is more than €10,000 in addition to dry losses that the shows will have to deal with. It is therefore estimated that a 20% loss of turnover will occur in 2020 in the best case scenario. And this could rise to 30% depending on the next government announcements. 

Trade fairs are resilient in spite of everything

The situation is catastrophic for all hair salons, beauty salons and barbershops. 

But it could have been even worse. 

Indeed, the trade fairs initially benefited from a promising start to the year, with an increase in turnover of almost 10% between January and February. 

Then, in spite of the fears one might have had at the time of the deconfinement, the French rushed into the salons. Thus, over the month of May, there was a 5.32% increase, even though the salons were only able to open from May 11th, i.e. only 3 weeks in the month. 

Finally, this increase remained over the following months (+1.52% in June, +3.64% in July, +6.14% in September). Only the month of August was disappointing with a decrease in turnover of 6.3%). 

One would think that these increases are due to the additional "Covid" charges that some salons have applied after containment. But with less than half of the shows applying a "covid fee", for an average of €2.4, the increase in turnover cannot be explained solely on this basis. 

The 6.7% increase in the average basket (€3 on average) is also part of the explanation. The fairs have become aware of their added value and have not hesitated to raise their prices a little. Just like the French, who didn't hesitate to pay a little more, as well as to buy more resale products at their shows. 

This proves the attachment of the French to their salons, even if they are not considered "essential" by the government. 

The covid-19, the trigger for the digitalization of living rooms? 

These confinements will also have had an unexpected side-effect. While the sector is still lagging behind on the subject of digitalisation, professionals have tended to equip themselves to prepare for the deconfinement. In particular on online booking. 

While online booking of all Wavy trade shows (whether or not equipped with online booking, with or without an appointment) represented 6.22% of visits in December 2019, it now accounts for 16.69% of visits (in October 2020). 

It should be noted that the monthly increase in this rate was 0.48% before containment. It has been 0.93% since May.

So the lounges are getting equipped. Among Wavy customers, 15.40% of trade fairs had activated online booking in 2019 compared with 40.40% in 2020!

But interest is also being driven by consumers, who are now incorporating this online booking as a habit. 

We can see that the increase in the online booking rate is spectacular for the lounges with this option activated.
In 2019, 19.22% of bookings for these lounges were made online. In 2020, 45.6% of their bookings are now taken online. 

Go to online booking

50% of the appointments are taken outside of your salon's opening hours...
Don't miss any more appointments by integrating the online network directly to your website.

What is the future for trade fairs?

This year 2020 will obviously be a year to forget for the whole sector. A 20 to 30% drop in turnover will be to be deplored. 

Nearly 3% of the trade fairs have already closed permanently since March. 

No doubt this figure will explode in the coming weeks/months, especially when the various aids are no longer available and the first loan repayments arrive.

The majority of salons have already shown great resilience during this period, well helped by their loyal clientele. This growing sector has proved to be a success following the recession in the first containment and can play a valuable role in the post-pandemic economic recovery. 

The good numbers outside of containment are there to prove it. Hair salons and beauty salons remain essential businesses. We will always need them.

It is time for the government to support the recovery in order to revive those most in difficulty and allow those who are recovering to develop in a healthy way to withstand the next few years. 

Written by
Interested in beauty and hairstyling, I am Content Manager at Wavy. I am delighted to be able to share my discoveries in this sector with you today.

Also to be consulted