With all South African salons and spas closed for the duration of the COVID-19 lockdown, three overseas experts provide some much needed financial advice.
Says Erica Dangelo, spa director of Borgo Egnazia (Italy): “Because the situation in Italy is so bad, with absolutely no short term future scenario on how long this will last, the way we have acted is to ask support partners to freeze agreements and suspend payments where the relationship with the supplier allows it. Because we can call ourselves ‘a positive organisation’, the relationship with the entire supply chain and stakeholders is very supportive and friendly and therefore we have generated good feedback from everyone. But this needs to be handled personally between the purchase manager and the supplier to make sure that whatever can be done to hold payments, proceeds without ruining the relationship”.
Becky Woodhouse, CEO of Pure Spa (UK) concurs: “Look at all costs and put everything on the minimum you possibly can. Find out what support is available for your business during periods of shutdown. Be very hard on yourself about what you really need to hold on to. For example, we have suspended all but essential email accounts, switched to internet only and saved over £900 per month. Also, look at marketing costs that you can save on until you are back to normal.
“The UK has a job retention package but requires workers to be furloughed and they are not allowed to do any work whilst furloughed. All of our spas are closed, so we have furloughed all workers. They will receive 80% of their salary during the period of shutdown.”
Anna Bjurstam, SVP Wellness of Six Senses (Sweden) adds: “Every spa in the Six Senses Group is different and where there are government solutions, we work with that while in other locations, we simply have to lay off staff, or alternatively agree with them to take unpaid leave, or reduce their salaries. For example, at Six Senses and Raison d’Etre, all corporate staff have taken pay cuts.”
Dangelo, Woodhouse and Bjurstam all took part in Professional Beauty UK’s recent Virtual Spa Week. To see their panel – ‘Situation Room: Cope & Hope – How to cope immediately for your Spa business (Part 2)’ – click here
This panel was moderated by Mark Moloney, Professional Beauty Group’s managing director, and Jean-Guy de Gabriac, WSWC conference producer and founder of World Wellness Weekend