As big branded salons are seeing a ray of hope amid the unlock, small salons and spas in the city are still struggling to see the minimum footfall.
Bengaluru: Two months after the government opened up the city, small salons are still struggling to boost their business. Most of the small salons in the city came to the verge of closing their business.
Bengaluru city consist of 35,000 salons that employ close to 1.5 lakh people in Bengaluru and 2.5 lakh people all over Karnataka. The beauty industry suffered a lot due to Covid-19 and its subsequent lock down as this particular industry cannot survive without touch and close proximity. “Only four to five customers come now; before Covid it was 10-15 daily,” said Girija Hema owner of Newlook. “This is creating a lot of loss and problem to my family,” she added.
Since the lockdown ended most customers are visiting big brand salons. Upasana Saha, resident of Indiranagar, Bengaluru said, “I comparatively prefer little bit big salons or someone who has a brand name attached to it because I know their services or quality during this covid time will be little better compared to the smaller ones.”
To be in the business, salons and spas had to adapt to the ‘new normal’ which meant additional expenditure on sanitizer, exclusive customer kit, protective coat. However, this was not possible for many small salon owners as they were already running their business in zero profit for the last year. But the big branded salon chain had an upper hand here. Sunil Limbu, senior hairstylist at BBlunt said, “We are given hygiene classes, we are instructed to wear PPE kit all the time. It is tough for us but it is slowly getting better. We all have to do frequent covid testing and we are also getting ourselves vaccinated. As the majority of the employees are two doses vaccinated now, so now it is going better.” he also added, “we have covid insurance and they provide for us and they also provide all facilities so it is good for us.”
Meanwhile, online services saw a rise in demand during the second wave. Aufiq Roaim business developer at Urban Company said, “the business is picking up and you know we are having a lot of drives and all over where because we want to have an equal supply of professionals so we are hiring all across the country.”
The second wave led to many small salons and spa businesses to shut down because of exorbitant losses they had to face due to Covid-19. And additionally, they were unable to adapt to the new measures due to lack of funds.