Landlords and rent, as well as operational readiness post COVID-19, were some of the topics discussed during Professional Beauty’s live webinar on 30 April.
Panelists included Twincare International CEO Stav Dimitriadis, Professional Beauty’s commercial director, Phil Woods, and Dermalogica SA CEO, Cherie Ten Hope.
Said Stav Dimitriadis, who was one of the industry stakeholders involved in making a presentation to government last week regarding the possible opening date for hair and beauty salons. “This situation that we find ourselves in is real – people are dying, people are panicking, etc. However, if you accept that the situation is real and that it’s not your fault, it liberates you, which is a good thing as we need to be realistic.
“Regarding the industry submission to government, not for one second are we saying that we want to put our customers or consumers at risk. What we wanted to achieve is to get government to understand our industry. Hairdressing and beauty salons do touch more than shop assistants and supermarkets, but we do sanitise more than them. So, we wanted to present our case to government and leave it up to them to decide when salons can open their doors and we will abide by their decision. I must make it clear that no salon will be forced to open.”
Cherie Ten Hope added: “We have to look at what is the science of the virus and the science behind not spreading it. Not only do we have a deep responsibility not to spread the virus, but we also have a deep responsibility to keep our salons going and performing treatments on clients who want them.”
Landlords and rent
During the Professional Beauty live webinar a question regarding how to deal with landlords and rent during lockdown was raised.
Said Dimitriadis: “When you initially approach the landlord of a shopping mall, they will tell you the footfall that the mall attracts as a selling point. So, you sign a lease based on this high footfall and now circumstances have changed due to the lockdown, and suddenly they don’t have the same number of feet coming through their doors. So, we need to find a fair way to get landlords to come to the table. In the past landlords have had a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude but retailers cannot take the lockdown pain alone. So, landlords need to reduce their rent during this time.”
Ten Hope added: “We are all in the service industry so it’s about negotiation. Your relationship with your landlord needs to have a partnership approach – perhaps you could negotiate deferred rentals over a period of six months.”
Industry’s operational readiness
Another question raised during the live webinar related to whether the hair and beauty industries would be ready to return to work from an operational perspective once lockdown ends.
Dimitriadis was off the opinion that all salon hygiene issues boil down to common sense. “After six weeks your salon won’t have the virus so I think just give your salon a normal thorough cleanse,” he stated. “Rather focus on things that will reduce transmission – wear masks, gloves and glasses and / or visors. We are not going to wear hazmat suits and spray clients down. Just raise your hygiene protocols according to government regulations. Each salon will need to appoint a ‘safety officer’ and have its hygiene protocols in writing but I don’t think that you should over complicate things.”
Ten Hope added: “Knowledge is power but there is so much information out there at the moment that there is often a misinterpretation. We have to have trained staff before opening our salons and have proof of this. I think we need to review our hygiene protocols and see whether it’s relevant to the times of today.”
To access more information from the Professional Beauty webinar click here