Roscommon Herald (Web), 22/11/2021, Ciara McCaughley
The Hair and Beauty Industry Confederation (HABIC) is calling for customers to remain diligent throughout the winter period with regards to public health guidelines to ensure the sector can remain open, amidst the ‘fourth wave’ of the pandemic. In order to protect staff and customers, HABIC is restating the need for customers to wear masks correctly and at all times in salons, practice proper hand hygiene, maintain social distancing, and not attend salons if they have Covid-19 symptoms.
CEO Margaret O’Rourke Doherty, who lives in Carrick-on-Shannon and is well-known in the Castlerea area, has called for a renewed focus on public health measures as sector enters its busiest period of the year.
“I would like to thank customers for their continued support. As we enter one of the busiest periods of the year for our industry, we would urge our customers to continue to adhere to the Government’s public health guidelines. Salons are controlled settings and operate in line with public health advice to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. The guidelines are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and to ensure we can keep our doors open. We are proud of the record of the hair and beauty sector and of the overwhelming support of our customers since the onset of the pandemic,” Margaret O’Rourke Doherty said.
HABIC is also encouraging customers to provide sufficient cancellation notice for hair and beauty appointments that they cannot attend in the lead up to the Christmas period. Following a period of financial difficultly for salon owners due to Covid-19 lockdowns during 2020 and 2021, business owners have been subject to further lost income because of late cancelled appointments by some clients not attending scheduled bookings.
Margaret O’Rourke Doherty added: “Appointments are in high demand during the Christmas period, and we would encourage clients to book their appointments in good time. However, customers should be mindful when booking and if they have to cancel, to ensure that they do so with adequate notice to ensure their appointment can be reallocated. It is understandable that clients may need to cancel appointments, and in most cases, salons will have a cancellation list during this period and can rebook cancellations, so long as they receive reasonable notice. With Christmas just around the corner, no-shows and last-minute cancellations will pose an especially heavy burden on salons across the country this year.”
Figures showed that an average of 6% of people didn’t show up for appointments following the reopening of hair and beauty salons after the first lockdown. The figures from Phorest, one of the leading software’s used by Irish salons to process online bookings, showed that customers who did not attend appointments or did not cancel with enough notice, were costing the industry an estimated €519,086 every day in lost revenue.
HABIC would also like to encourage customers to support their local salons during the busy Christmas period shopping local to purchasing skincare, shampoos, tools and gift vouchers locally.
Margaret O’Rourke Doherty concluded: “The impact of Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 means that this time of year is of vital importance to our industry in its continued recovery. Hair and beauty salons invest time and effort in sourcing top quality products, with beautiful gifts available for the festive period. Shopping local can make a big difference to small businesses and keep local towns and businesses alive.”