Boom time for UK beauty businesses

RBB-Britain's Beauty Hotspots_600
The number of beauty businesses in the UK has risen by over a fifth in the last four years, according to new data from Barclays Business.

Barclays has seen a 21 per cent increase in the number of small beauty businesses since 2010, in addition to a 24 per cent rise in the combined turnover of these businesses over the same time period.

The proliferation of businesses in the beauty industry, which include beauty salons, hairdressers and tanning parlours, contributes £4bn to the UK economy. The majority of beauty business SMEs are sole traders (62 per cent), with 6 per cent of owners under the age of 25, twice the rate of under-25s owning SMEs more generally (2.3 per cent). Interestingly, the report also shows that a quarter of UK beauty businesses are owned by men.

London is the region with the biggest percentage of beauty businesses, for a fifth (19 per cent) of Barclays SME customers, and also saw the most dramatic rise over the past four years (33 per cent). The East of England follows with 13.8 per cent while the South East is close behind with 13.7 per cent. Also of note is the figure of 10.9 per cent in the North West region of England, which speaks of the area’s high demand for beauty services.

Sue Hayes, Head of SME banking at Barclays, commented: “We’ve seen a significant rise in the number of beauty business owners coming to us for support, particularly over the last four years. It’s an industry where small and medium businesses are increasingly finding opportunities from market demand, and we’ve also seen a jump in the number of younger entrepreneurs in this sector. The growth of the UK’s ageing population and a boom in online consumer behaviour has also fuelled expansion. The fast-growing men’s market is an area predicted to rise in the next few years.”

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