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Revealed: NHBF State of the Industry Survey Results

by kieran / last updated September 30, 2021

NHBF state of the industry survey lead image, man getting haircut at barbers

The results from the latest National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) State of the Industry Survey are in, and the prevailing trend is just how resilient the industry has been emerging from the pandemic.

Collating the findings from 916 responses between 9-20 September 2021, the survey aims to represent businesses in the Personal Care sector across all areas including city centres, town centres and villages in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 73% of those who responded were salon or barbershop owners, and 43% came under the definition of “renting, mobile or freelance”.

The survey revealed that 43% of hair and beauty businesses are breaking even, with a further 43% making either a small or good profit. These results are up from the previous survey in June.

Other key results include 40% of respondents raised their prices over the last three months, with a further 40% are planning to within the next three months, and two thirds (66%) of businesses remain either partially or entirely reliant on Government support, slightly down from June (80%).

A number of interesting results regarding staffing, recruitment and apprentices arose also, including that, in the next three months, 27% of hair and beauty businesses will definitely or are likely to take on new staff, up from 16% in June.

Additionally, 9% of businesses are considering staff redundancies over the next three months with furlough changes imminent, and 30% unsure. It’s revealed that, over the last three months, 14% have cut back on apprentices and only 15% are at least considering taking on apprentices in the next three months.

Turning attention to the near future, the survey underlined that nearly two thirds (63%) of business owners are confident of their survival and that 40% say they intend to grow their business, with 46% remaining the same size and only 14% downsizing or handing their business over.

On the survey, chief executive of the NHBF, Richard Lambert, commented: “Ours is a resilient industry. Prior to the pandemic, barbershops and nail bars were propping up the high street. This latest survey shows real recovery and an overall optimistic outlook with 40% of salons saying they expect to grow.”

He continued: “This is not a sector that has gone running to the government for help every time it faces a difficult time, but it is still fragile. It’s heartening to see the prospect of job losses receding, but there are also signs that any further restrictions could have a devastating effect. The government needs to maintain its support for these salons and barbershops to ensure they recover fully, continuing to provide employment and making a significant contribution to the economy as well as to the nation’s health and well-being.”

Considering the results, the NHBF called for the following from the Government:

  1. The reintroduction of the Job Retention Bonus through to the spring 2022 and restraint on further increases to the National Minimum Wage and apprenticeship rate until such time as the sector can begin its recovery.
  2. More attractive apprenticeship incentives to employers, focussing on the development of affordable apprenticeship schemes specifically for small businesses in order to make it financially viable for them to keep on and recruit apprentices.
  3. A commitment to provide further financial support should any of the four nations need to reintroduce lockdown measures.
  4. Continued consultation between the sector and UK and devolved governments to tailor current and future guidance in a clear and accessible way as possible with adequate time for businesses to plan and implement any further changes.

Don’t miss Business Live at Salon International 2021, sponsored by NHBF

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