The beauty industry is continuing efforts to support salons and professional channels following closures resulting from the coronavirus.
Kao Salon Division has increased their independent initiatives to help support salons and small businesses. The parent company of Oribe, Goldwell and KMS is halting all invoicing to salons and providing business recovery insight to salon owners. Oribe.com has also introduced an affiliate commission program through their salon partners. Kao Salon’s efforts in North America, which includes charitable donations and free product, amounts to $5.6 million in total.
Trevor Attenborough, vice president of salon commercial for Kao Americas, said best practices for sanitation and social distancing can complicate salon openings. “What you have is salon owners trying to figure out what reopening is going to look like. You can’t override authorities, but what does sanitation look like? How can you tell clients about it?” he said.
Salon owners reopening will also have to face a surplus of demand while not being able to run salons at capacity due to social distancing guidelines, Attenborough said. “The next set of questions will be financial. ‘I now have a rent space that’s twice as big as what I can do from a capacity perspective, how do I adjust my business to get to that place?’ And nobody knows what will happen with social distancing, if there’ll be a second wave, if it’ll get more strict,” Attenborough said.
Aveda has also introduced a multipronged set of initiatives to help the professional channel, which includes 9,000 salons worldwide. The brand has donated $600,000 to the Salon and Spa Relief Fund, a nonprofit offering grants ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. It is giving customers the opportunity to turn their loyalty program points into donations to the fund, as well as an option to donate during online checkout. Their fund-raising goal is $1.5 million.
In addition to supporting businesses, Aveda is also giving professionals the opportunity to hone their skills during the salon hiatuses. “We created a thorough education program of over a thousand hours of classes with regional experts. We have had over 15,000 participants weekly, and artists from 40 countries have attended these classes. It’s an important investment in their education, but also in their connection with others,” said Barbara De Laere, senior vice president and global general manager at Aveda. Part of this education initiative is a sanitation protocol the company is disseminating to salons for reopening.
Aveda is also donating product locally near their headquarters in Minneapolis.; has extended salon payment terms, and increased salon sales commission to 40 percent.
From a philanthropic perspective, the nonprofit Beauty Changes Lives has historically offered scholarships to those pursuing professional careers in the beauty industry. As previously reported, they converted the scholarship program into a series of small grants for industry professionals. Most recently, they have repurposed a sum of $70,000 in donations for their gala (now canceled due to COVID-19) into $1,000 grants, in addition to the previously offered relief grants offered to nail artists at the onset of the public health and economic crisis.
Applications for the grants, which are categorized by profession, are greater than what Beauty Changes Lives receives for their annual scholarships. “We have had 6,000 applicants for the main grant, and over 900 applicants for the nail grant,” Beauty Changes Lives president Lynelle Lynch said. “We are hoping they are using it for personal living expenses, because everyone in the professional industry isn’t getting a paycheck now.”
Coty Professional Beauty has also developed a $650,000 industry relief package, including $200,000 in grants up to $1,000 for stylists and manicurists to use at their own discretion. L’Oréal USA Professional Products Division has also given $200,000 to the Professional Beauty Association’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, and has a $2.5M fundraising goal for itself, employees and clients. L’Oréal USA is matching employee donations up to $25,000. Henkel North America’s Beauty Care Hair Professional has also donated $200,000 to the PBA Covid-19 Relief Fund. John Paul Mitchell Systems is unveiling a Salon Jumpstart Stimulus Package, which includes digital offerings, free hair color and more, and is being valued at $4 million.
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