Beauty salons among the fastest growing retail sectors in the UK

By Kat Hill | 24 September 2019 | Movers & Shakers, News


Current data, analysed by 365 Business Finance, shows that beauty salons are among the fastest growing retail sectors in the UK over the past three years.

Beauty salons are the second most popular retail sector, with new openings rising almost 14% during the last three years, joining barbers, vape stores, cafes and tearooms, along with restaurants and bars. These retailers have consistently experienced the highest number of net store openings in 2016 – 2018, according to the Local Data Company.

Key stats found by 365 Business Finance include:

  • In the UK there are a total of 31,107 beauty salons and 1,512 nail bars [source].
  • In 2018, a net number of 495 salons opened, up from 388 in 2017 (a 28% increase), and 435 in 2016 [source][source].
  • Alongside hair salons and barber shops, beauty salons generate almost £7.5bn for the UK economy and employ around 260,000 people [source]. The market is expected to reach £26.7bn by 2022 [source].
  • London loves to pamper itself; when it comes to beauty treatment spending, Londoners splash out a median of £120 a month [source].
  • The capital’s average spend of £470 per month is in stark contrast to the rest of the country which spends an average of just over £96 a month [source].

Scroll down to see the infographic!

Putting this all into context, London-based financier 365 Business Finance has created a virtual high street, Recovery Road, to demonstrate the changing face of the retail industry in the UK.

The company is celebrating five years of supporting small to medium sized businesses and provides merchant cash advances to independent retailers.

By reviewing statistics on the five fastest growing retail categories, the reasons why they have taken a foothold despite the difficult climate become apparent. Recovery Road acts as an interactive guide, showing how British retail and the high street has the potential to evolve with independent businesses at the helm.

After showing the fastest growing categories, the Recovery Road timeline walks you through the British high street from 2008 to 2018, detailing the appearance and disappearance of some well-known retail stores.

The timeline lists 46 retailers across five categories, ‘buy out’, ‘ceased trading’, ‘restructuring’, ‘clicks-to-bricks’ and ‘offline-online partnerships’. The list is by no means exhaustive, but it charts how the landscape of the high street has changed over a 10-year period. As the timeline progresses, it is clear to see how new retail players have made their mark on the high street by developing new business models and concepts.

“Recovery Road offers a fascinating glimpse into the changing face of the British high street,” explains 365 Business Finance managing director, Andrew Raphaely. “Despite some well-loved household names disappearing, there’s been positive news for the independent retailers and businesses that have gone from strength to strength.

“As a result of the increase in their numbers and ambitions, we’ve seen a significant rise in demand for merchant cash advances to fuel the growth of these businesses, meeting their need for fast, flexible and affordable finance.”

For more information about 365 Business Finance, visit