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NHBF survey reveals 28% increase in hair & beauty businesses with a steady footfall

By Rebecca Hitchon | 18 May 2022 | News

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The National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF) has published its State of the Industry Survey for the first quarter of 2022, which gathered views from 913 UK businesses in the personal care sector.

This follows a report by the trade association published earlier in May, which highlighted ‘a skills crisis for the hair and beauty industry’, and January’s State of the Industry Survey, which reflected the difficult winter experienced by businesses.

In comparison to the previous survey, which showed only 13% of businesses reporting a steady footfall, 41% of businesses now report being busy or steady.

44% of those are breaking even, with 30% making a small or good profit (up from 19% in January), and the amount of businesses making a small or substantial loss is down by 13%.

The number of respondents carrying debt has also reduced from 54% in January to 42%. However, 63% of respondents say that it will take over two years to clear this debt.

Although there are signs of hope for the industry and the amount of businesses confident of their survival has risen from 40% in January to 57%, this is not as high as 63% of businesses in September 2021.

With rising costs for staff, energy and supplies affecting the hair and beauty sector, 43% of respondents have raised their prices over the last three months, and a further 58% plan to do so over the next three months.

Only 17% of beauty businesses surveyed are definitely or likely to take on new staff in the next three months, and 16% have cut back on apprentices over the last three months.

“After a difficult winter for the sector, trade and confidence levels are similar to where they were in July 2021,” comments NHBF chief executive, Richard Lambert. “We are grateful for all the government support provided to the sector to date. However, continued support from each national government is needed through the recovery phase, particularly in the form of incentives for apprenticeships to fuel the future talent pipeline of the personal care sector.”

Therefore, the NHBF is asking for an increase in the 50% discount on business rates for 2022-23 and flexibility on repayments of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, alongside bounce back loans to offer support to those suffering financially.

It is also calling for the reestablishment of the Job Retention Bonus until autumn 2022 and the introduction of more attractive apprenticeship incentives to employers, making it financially viable for them to take on apprentices.

Watch a video summary of the State of the Industry Survey below.