As reported in ECSB’s Small Business Pain Points series, salons have proven to be resilient in recessions. While consumers may spend less money or extend the time between visits, there remains a need to maintain a polished appearance in a tough job market. According to Sageworks, salon profits grew 6.4% from 2008 to 2009. Additionally, salon services can’t be outsourced or automated, making it a secure industry for business owners. Now, in a sure sign of economic strength, salons are seeing an uptick in sales growth.
A recent USA Today article stated that beauty salon sales grew 5.4% in the last two years, versus a 2.3% sales increase in 2009. As consumer financial constraints have eased, frequency of visits and dollars spent are returning to pre-recession levels. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for hairdressers will grow by 15.7% by 2020, leading the U.S. News and World Report to list hairdresser as one of the best jobs of 2012.
Based on this data, it is unsurprising that the personal services segment is the fastest growing group of small businesses in the U.S. Census Bureau’s “Other Services” segment. If the personal care segment is any indication, consumer spending—and small business—is bouncing back.