There will be a long lasting financial impact in the beauty industry even after the Covid-19 has left our shores.
The industry was already struggling because of the slow economic growth before Covid-19 and they were losing customers.
This is according to Frik Bekker, acting CEO of the National Bargaining Council for the Hairdressing, Cosmetology, Beauty and Skincare Industry who told Vutivi News that the lockdown added serious pressure on the beauty industry.
“With no work being able to be rendered from 27 March 2020 up to when Personal Care was allowed to return (19 June 2020) there was no income generated by these establishments and also no payments that could be made to employees
“The lockdown had the effect that many establishments went into serious debt to stay afloat while many were not able to reopen once the lockdown was lifted. In essence, all personal care establishments could return to work apart from those operating from resorts and hotels. These establishments are only now from 17 August able to return to work which meant a lockdown period for these salon owners and employees of almost 5 months with no income.”
Bekker considered the hairdressing industry as a significant contributor to the country’s economy.
The total size of the hairdressing industry is evaluated over R1 billion (sell-in value) for the full year of 2019.
Knowing that the salons recharge products through services or retail between 50% and 60% more to clients, the market of hairdressing (including only wet hair = no hair extensions figures) is most probably over R2 Billion ZAR. Adding the beauty industry, the total should be exceeding R2.5 Billion.Vutivi News interviewed two hairdressers, both operating in zone 11 in Sebokeng in the Vaal. These men, who ply their trade transforming locals’ heads into the stuff that turned heads, have seen better days.
Lucky Nkuna, 27, who owns Thulani Salon, has been running his business since 2011. He has been doing people’s hair since he was a teenager, a trade he began playing when he was 13.
“I (opened) a hair salon because I wanted to have a business that is mine, as I was tired of working for other people,” adding that business was doing great before the pandemic.
“Even though days were not the same, we would see an average of ten people when it isn’t busy. Month-end and paydays would be different, since people had money to do more expensive hairstyles.”
Lucky closed for 21 days during the first lockdown, and then for two weeks afterwards. He was only able to operate again under level three. “I mean, business is extremely slow these days,” he said.
“I took a profit knock. Even when we were told to apply for relief funding, I couldn’t because I don’t have information regarding the relief funding,” he said.
Nkuna said that he was hoping that things would change since the country was placed under level two.
I see more people are going back to work, so maybe the number of customers will increase,” he said.
Sophania Makayi who also owns a hair salon in zone 11, Sebokeng said he had been running his salon since 2005, a trade he also learned in his youth. “Business was good, because most of my customers are school children. However, it has been increasingly difficult since this disease invaded our lives. I was even forced to lay off one employee because I simply cannot afford to pay another person.”
He said that young children and the youth were his biggest clients, but they have not been visiting the salon lately.
He said that he hoped that things would be different under level two since children would be going back to school so maybe things might go back to the way they were before.