The fall in number of clients have left owners to fight high operating costs such as rent, electricity bills, …Read More
AHMEDABAD: Ashwin Patel, who ran a salon on Science City Road for the past six years, closed it down recently because customers have shrunk alarmingly, while operating costs have risen and there has been no change in rent. “We had 3,500 clients who regularly availed of our beauty and grooming services. After the lockdown, footfalls fell drastically and revenue has not been enough to even meet costs. I cannot run the business by making losses and decided to shut shop,” said Patel.
Even after salons and barber shops opened following the lockdown, footfalls have fallen dramatically, leaving owners to fight high operating costs such as rent, electricity bills, staff salaries and others. Consequently, many have been forced to shut. In fact, it is common place to spot salons with shutters locked, many even carrying for sale/rent advertisements.
Bhupendra Panara, president of Ahmedabad Barbershop Owners’ Association, said, “Of around 12,000 salons and barbershops in the city, at least 200 have either not opened after the lockdown or closed soon after opening because they can’t bear the costs.”
Harshad Panara, who runs a salon near Judges Bungalow Crossroads, reduced the space in his salon. “We renovated the salon and vacated nearly half the space, so our operating costs can be reduced. Barely anyone is opting for skin and beauty treatments and are sticking to basic grooming services. Our revenues have taken a hit and it was only wise to reduce overheads,” he said.
‘Footfalls down to 6-7 clients a day from 25’
Most of our clients are men who come for haircuts and shaves. Women who come in stick to basic grooming services and hair colours. Overall, footfalls have fallen considerably. Against 25 customers a day pre-Covid, we barely get six or seven now,” said the manager of a salon in the city, on condition of anonymity.
Salon owners are going the extra mile on social distancing and cleanliness fronts. “We use disposable tools and products as far as possible for all our services. Wherever disposables are not possible, the products are sanitised before and after each use. Thankfully, our regular clients have continued to come,” said Aanall Christian, director of Bridal Studio.