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Beauty industry dealt “devastating” blow following lightening Tier 4 closures

Gaelle Walker
21 December 2020

Britain’s beauty industry is reeling this morning after having been dealt one of its biggest blows of the year yet, following the forced closure of stores and salons across vast swathes of the country from Sunday 20 December, with practically no notice.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new Tier 4 for London and parts of the South East and the East of England, with restrictions including the closure of all personal care services in London, South East and East of England.  

The shock closure announcement came in what would normally be the industry’s busiest week of trading and many businesses had been relying on those crucial sales to help hold them back from the brink of financial ruin following a year of erratic enforced closures.

British Beauty Council chief executive Millie Kendall MBE said the news had dealt the industry a “devastating” blow.

“Announcing that all non-essential retail, including personal care, is to close, just two hours before end of trading on the busiest day of the year, giving us little time to cancel weeks of appointments and to furlough staff is insensitive to business owners and their employees,” she told TheIndustry.Fashion.

“This is devastating news. The industry has received no sector-specific financial support and the retail grants don't go far enough.

“The reality is that up to 60% of salon services may not survive to the end of this financial year.  

“We continue to lobby the government on behalf of our industry and its members to address the specific needs of close contact services.”

New research published by the National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF) earlier this month revealed that 62% of business owners could not be sure their business would survive until the end of the financial year, while 18% said they were sure they would have to close.

Salons, barbershops, nail salons, spas, massage parlours, tanning salons and mobile businesses can remain open in all Tiers 1-3.  

The Northern Ireland Executive has also announced that from 26 December Northern Ireland will enter a six-week lockdown which will require all non-essential businesses to close including all close contact services. Meanwhile Wales brought forward its planned post-Christmas lockdown to co-incide with that in Tier 4 areas in England.

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