- October 14, 2021
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Hairdressing salons across Auckland are predicting mass closures in the coming months, as many owners struggle to keep their businesses alive through lockdown.
Auckland is approaching 60 days of Covid-19 lockdown, meaning it’s almost two months since most salons were making any revenue.
The government has promised hairdressers will be allowed to open at the final stage of its three-step roadmap to level 2. With that stage up to eight weeks away, salon owners say it’s too long a wait.
Kylie Pointon has owned her Rosedale salon for three years, and has been asked if she’d like to buy two “very successful” salons since lockdown began in August, because the owners are struggling financially.
Pointon herself is struggling to pay her bills. She said watching her friends, who also own salons, go deeper in debt is “really tough”.
“The industry is in a tough place at the moment,” Pointon told Stuff.
Hordes of hairy Aucklanders will be desperate for cuts after lockdown, but Pointon said the business model of most salons will make it hard to bounce back.
“The busiest time of the year is Christmas. However, I would usually anticipate an influx in October also,” said Pointon.
“But we’re likely not to open until November, which means we’ll miss the earlier influx and the majority of the client base is then seen in December. I’ve had to change my whole business plan – it will be busy, but really hard to pull it back.”
Many Auckland hairdressers are pessimistic about salons outlasting level 3. Carla Ann Bennett, a hairdresser for 10 years in Waitākere, thinks most won’t last a month.
“There could be a serious salon shortage, this can’t continue the way it’s going,” said Bennett.
Karen Postings has owned her North Shore salon for 20 years. She said the industry is the worst she’s seen it.
The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) said it was aware of business owners’ lockdown struggles, pointing to the billions of dollars poured into financial support for employers and workers.
“In this outbreak alone, we have paid more than $3 billion in Wage Subsidy payments and almost $1b in Resurgence Support Payments,” said Finance Minister Grant Robertson
“The latter payment is for businesses to assist with their fixed costs, including rent.”
A third round of the Resurgence Support Payment opened on October 8, and Robertson encouraged salon owners to apply.
Postings said that even with the resurgence support, she still was unable to cover her salon’s rent and her personal mortgage.
“Unless my landlord agrees to [me] back-paying my salon’s rent, it will probably be the end of my business. It’s that bad,” said Postings.
NZ Association of Registered Hairdressers spokesman Niq James said the resurgence package doesn’t make up for the industry’s slim profit margins.
“There’s still up to 25 per cent of margin not being met for most owners’ expenses,” said James.
“The package helps, but it’s not enough.”
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