Sombre consumers skimping on hairdressers and beauticians

17/02/2009 15:00

The Dutch cut back on spending on hairdressers and beauty treatment in 2008. This seems to be connected with the falling consumer confidence. 

Spending down

The volume of turnover in the hairdressers and beauticians branch was slightly lower in 2008 than in the previous year. Customers either had their hair done or beauty treatment less often, or the treatment they had there was less extensive than beforehand. As a result, the growth in turnover for hairdressers and beauticians was down by more than half, from just over 5 percent in 2007 to just over 2 percent in 2008. Because of the increase in prices, turnover did still grow slightly in 2008. 

Hairdressers and beauticians: turnover, prices and volume

Hairdressers and beauticians: turnover, prices and volume

Negative consumer confidence

The personal care sector seems to be sensitive to consumers’ confidence in the economy. In the years 2003-2008, volume decreases nearly always corresponded with negative consumer confidence, while spending went up again when consumers felt more optimistic. In times of economic decline, consumers economise on luxury spending such as appointments with hairdressers and beauticians.

Hairdressers and beauticians: turnover volume and consumer confidence

Hairdressers and beauticians: turnover volume and consumer confidence

More smaller businesses

The number of hairdressers and beauty parlours has risen by 20  percent in the last five years. The average size of these businesses has decreased on the other hand. While the majority of hairdressers employed staff in 2004, only the owner was working in 60 percent of hairdressers and barbers’ shops in 2008.

Beauty parlours have always been small. The share of self-employed without employees in this branch rose slightly between 2004 and 2008, from 91 to 94 percent.

Hairdressers and beauticians: share of self-employed without employees

Hairdressers and beauticians: share of self-employed without employees

Floortje Sniedt