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SA salon franchise bullish about coming season

Image sourced from sorbet.co.za

Following a successful winter 2022 season, South African salon group, Sorbet, is looking forward to steady growth during the summer months.

Says Sorbet Group marketing executive Candice Thurston: “Based on our stores' performance in general over the past six months, we are optimistic in our growth outlook for summer. We believe that the group has reached the end of the Covid recovery road, with majority of our stores trading on par, or exceeding, pre-Covid figures.”

The Sorbet Group encompasses Sorbet Salons, Nailbars, Hairbars (previously called Drybars), Sorbet Man and Candi & Co, with over 200 stores countrywide.

Thurston notes that winter 2022 comfortably exceeded Sorbet’s forecasts on a like-for-like basis set at the start of the financial year. She says: “We also continue to invest heavily in our marketing initiatives to drive foot traffic, educate our guests on new services and products and communicate our CSI initiatives. This winter we launched our Skin Care campaign, focused on providing a professional skin experience for all skin types, skin concerns and age groups. This was supported by the continued roll out of our new professional brands, Exuviance and DMK, together with innovations from Dermalogica and Environ and our collagen brands, Motherkind and Be Bright.”

While all Sorbet salon brands performed well compared to the past two years, Sorbet Hairbars were the top performing brand in terms of percentage growth in 2021. Thurston attributes this performance to the fact that Sorbet guests have been out and about and back at work. “So looking good and feeling good is once again important to them,” she states. “Gel polish, hair services and waxing were some of our top treatment categories across all our stores. We also saw a significant increase in facials.”

However, retail growth has been slower than that of treatments due to the continued impact of the global supply chain challenges, inflation and changing consumer spending behaviour.

Thurston concludes: “As a South African brand, we are proud of what we have achieved with the support of our franchise partners. We are focused on digital transformation, social media take-overs plus an increased event and influencer partnership drive to grow awareness of the Sorbet brand.”

Professional Beauty also reached out to another leading salon chain, the i-BLOOM Group (formerly Imbalie Beauty Group), regarding their forecast for the coming season, but CEO, Esna Colyn, reserved comment until the group has completed its re-structuring process early next year. (Report by Joanna Sterkowicz)

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