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The effects of unlock 1.0 on the salon industry

by Arun Shirishkar

With social distancing making it commercially difficult to run salons, the Beauty & Wellness industry is bracing itself for a major transformation as it looks for ways to remain safe 

The COVID-19 pandemic on one side has taken the life out of the masses across the globe but on the flip side has also brought a huge behavioural change which has driven people to embrace Aatmanirbhar or DIY from home. Over the past few months the internet has been flooded with videos of people doing home exercising, washing utensils, sweeping, cooking, etc.

Online activity
Online retailer, Flipkart has outlined the effects of the trend where they have seen a surge in consumers buying grooming kits online at an increase of almost 2.5x across trimmers, epilators, body, and nose grooming kits. Major demand has come from tier 2 cities like Indore, Ahmedabad, etc; whilst rival Nykaa, which also has a huge presence in the e-commerce marketplace has also confirmed a rise in demand for shavers, trimmers, and epilators in Covid times as compared to normal business days. 

Precautionary measures
Whilst home grooming has grown during lockdown as some clients show caution about returning to salons, that have opened in the current phase of unlock 1.0. Salons have adapted by adopting stringent hygiene and safety standards, by taking measures such as operating on an appointment only system or monitoring customers through the Aarogya Setu app, using plastic sheets or facials, sanitation, etc. 

Enrich Salons
Enrich Salon, a famous unisex chain salon which has its presence in over 6 cities had conducted various customer surveys during the lockdown, the results of which showed that a surprisingly large number of clients were keen on visiting the salons post re-opening. In one of the interviews with a leading newspaper, Mr. Vikram Bhatt, Director of Enrich Salon mentioned that they had initiated a campaign, “Call Is Well”, where they had actually called their clients to understand their well-being, which led to further enhancing their bond with customers. And the add-on factor to this was their therapists conducting e-consultation sessions where customers were guided through the process of doing some services at home by themselves. He also said that, “The new normal SOP measures set by [Enrich] including staff and clients wearing PPE kits, sensor-based sanitisers, threading would be done with tweezers to ensure technicians have the mask on, and that for waxing, only cartridge wax would be permitted.” 

FMCG Brands
Leading beauty brands like Godrej Professional and L’Oréal India are also no exception as even they have extended help to Indian salons outlining hygiene and operating guidelines, resource planning and helping owners ensure the safety and well-being of staff and customers. The latter has distributed its hygiene and safety guide called ‘Back to Business’ to around 40,000+ salons and  over 1,00,000++ hairdressers. Their guide includes details on SOP, like hand cleansing, tool disinfecting, pre-booking, ensuring social distancing, etc whilst Godrej had rolled out its Suraksha programme for salons. So whilst we start to see customers heading back to salons as they open across the country what is evident is that there will be a new normal in place as both customers and salons get used to this new health and safety makeover.

Sourced via Financial Express

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