Tesco attack on beauty salons


Tesco is launching beauty salon products and services in store, so you'll be able to pop in for a Tesco value haircut or a leg wax before picking up your frozen chicken.

It seems that even relaxation and pampering can be done quickly, under glaring lights and on the cheap. But what does this mean for shoppers and traditional salons?

New services

Tesco has announced plans for 70 beauty stores and a massive increase in beauty products available instore and online.

The stores will be laid out like the beauty section of a department store, and are promising people known as 'trained beauty staff' - which begs the question how much training it takes before someone can discuss spray tans or moisturiser.

They will also offer shoppers everything from leg waxing to facials, spray tans and a cut and blow dry, which they can pop in for without an appointment.

So what's in it for Tesco?

The benefits could be massive: beauty services earn thousands of small business a massive £14 billion a year, and the supermarket giant wants a slice of the action.

What's in it for shoppers?

The prices will be rock bottom, at £12.50 for a haircut and £20 for a shampoo and blow dry. You could get eyebrow shaping for £5 and a full leg wax for £15, which make them massively cheaper than the vast majority of salons.

What's the problem?

There are questions over whether we want to give up on the comforts of a salon. A leg wax isn't the sort of thing we proudly flaunt in the supermarket: we'd rather scuttle off home with the minimum of fuss. Likewise, there seems less likelihood of a relaxing chat and personal attention under the glaring lights, with a staff member whose job it is to churn out haircuts as fast as possible so people wandering in don't get bored and go back to their shopping.

Of course, the people paying the biggest price will be the many thousands of small businesses who suddenly find themselves with a massive and terrifying competitor. Tesco will be able to undercut the vast majority of salons. It will also offer hassle-free parking, and will cash in on those who never get round to arranging an appointment in good time. The passing trade will suck in their customers, and could lose them vital business when many are already struggling to pay the bills.

So what do you think? Is this yet another worrying sign of Tesco putting small businesses under pressure, or is it a brilliant bargain beauty solution for tougher times? Let us know in the comments.
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