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The visitation at the hairdresser’s became a luxury in Greece

23 March 2010 / 17:03:50  GRReporter
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V. Mindova

The economic crisis did not pass the hairdressers’ saloons in Greece. As representatives of the small business, many of the owners of small and big beauty saloons turned out to be at the edge of a financial collapse or just went bankrupt after as a result of the economic crisis going on in the past year. The total decrease in the standard of living and the uncertainty of the future made many Greek women to reorganize their priorities in the monthly budgets. The new hairstyle or the refreshment of the hair color were replaced by shopping in the supermarket and other urgent expenses which were covered with no problem before the crisis. “We lost many of our clients who were coming for a hairstyle at least once a week,” says a hairdresser with a long term experience, “the Greek women have a tradition of taking care of themselves and the nice hairstyle is important to the image of a woman. Recently our clients enter the saloon only for the most important services – haircut and color change,” she explains.

The owner of a small hairdresser’s in the Athenian neighborhood Glifada starts her own business in the beginning of 2009. There are five working places in it – four employees and herself. There are three hairdressers, a colorist (she only handles the hair dyeing). The saloon is located on the first floor of a small shopping center and because of the lack of a window directly facing the street the price of the rent is lower. The strategy of the hairdresser’s is to offer services at prices which are lower than the market prices, counting on the bigger turnover coming from more clients. “When we stared I thought that it will all be ok. In the beginning I knew that will not become rich having this saloon, but I thought that I could have a healthy business with not a big, but a fair profit,” says the owner. Fourteen months later the picture turns out different. Not only that the investment is not paying back, but the business starts to go down. At the end of last year there are only two employees left in the saloon, because the volume of the work does not cover the expenses for electricity, salaries, social securities and payments to the suppliers. “I will try to keep the saloon as long as I can before making the decision to close down,” she says.

For GRReporter a former client of this saloon shares that the services offered there were not at the proper level. “When you are not happy from a hairstyle or its execution there is nothing which can make you go back to the same place. Athens and in Greece as a whole, you can find a hairdresser’s at every corner. The low prices are not enough to keep their clients,” she says.

The increased prices in some regions or the bad quality of the services in others as well as the great number of hairdresser’s saloons everywhere provide the main prerequisites for the change of the market picture in this field. Another reason for the problems of the beauty saloons is the release on the public market of many series of professional cosmetics for hair. “The good hairstyle is not a luxury anymore. Every woman has access to first class products using which in her comfortable home she could achieve great results for a specific price. This in combination with the entire economic crisis which has spread around the country affects the demand for the respective services,” says the director of the sales department of a big company which produces products for professional hair care. According to the specialist the right formula for a successful business in the new hard economic conditions is the right positioning of the hairdresser’s, having a maximum of four employees. The main investment should be in good quality products, however without signing binding contracts with the suppliers.


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