8 September 2015

The Government’s consultation on Sunday trading in England and Wales ends on 16 September, so the National Hairdressers’ Federation (NHBF) went out to see what our industry thinks of opening on Sundays. Over 80% of salon owners say they are not considering opening on Sundays, although 13% of salons currently do open on Sundays.  Most salon owners think Sunday trading is on the increase in the hair and beauty industry, but not necessarily in their own area.

Those that do open on a Sunday do it to keep clients happy and to gain more business. The salons which don’t open on a Sunday say that having less time for family and personal life is the main reason, but they also say that they would struggle to get staff to work on Sundays and it would also be more difficult to find time to do salon maintenance and catch up on paperwork. 

With over half of all salons already opening 6 days or 7 days per week as well as doing two or more late nights each week, it’s not surprising that most salon owners feel the same way as Joanne Sutherland Smith who says, ‘London is an increasingly cosmopolitan city, many young professionals work long anti-social hours, so there is a sound financial argument to open on Sundays.  But we owe a duty of care to our hard-working, highly skilled staff and their families. Many hairdressers work long, tiring hours often late into the evening but personal relationships and family life require continuity and quality time.’ 

Many were concerned that Sunday trading doesn’t actually drive new business.  As Steven Bannister from The Daisy Chain (Hair & Beauty) says, ‘We experimented with Sunday trading, but we found it spread our Saturday clients over two days but suffered increased costs and no additional income.’ 

On the other hand, David Rae from David Rae Salons says, ‘I opened on a Sunday 5 years ago.  I can’t express enough how Sundays have increased my sales.  Sundays are the new Saturday and the laws should be relaxed.’ And Lindsay from Rococo Hair Design agrees, ‘I opened my salon in 2013 and have worked most Sundays since opening. I would definitely say accommodating people on a Sunday has given me a lot of extra clients as many people are working during the week.’

NHBF president Paul Curry said:

“This research has shown our industry has mixed feelings about Sunday trading.  It’s up to each individual salon owner and doing what’s right for their family, clients, staff and, of course, their business.”

The government’s consultation on Sunday trading is aimed at big stores over 280 sq m (3000 sq ft), such as supermarkets and DIY shops, which are currently restricted to opening for 6 hours on Sundays.  It does not apply to small businesses which are already free to open when they want on Sundays. The Government plans to devolve Sunday trading regulations to local authorities and elected mayors in England and Wales, in what promises to be the biggest shake-up of trading laws since the Sunday Trading Act in 1994.

The NHBF will be commenting on the government’s consultation in support of the hair and beauty industry. To provide your feedback please email enquiries@nhf.info.