Tesco’s move into beauty could 'threaten independents'

The Forum of Private Business worries that job losses could follow

The Forum of Private Business has warned that jobs in the hair and beauty sector could be at risk after supermarket giant Tesco began offering budget haircuts and beauty treatments in some of its stores. The retailer has now started operating a women’s haircut service for as low as £12.50 per cut as well as selling spray tan, nail and waxing services.

The Forum’s ceo, Phil Orford, comments: “Over the past ten years all of the big supermarkets have moved into retail sectors other than their traditional grocery-focused backgrounds. Unfortunately it seems Tesco is now looking to help itself to a piece of the market where the supermarkets have so far not ventured.

“But where one goes the others will follow and you have to wonder how long it will be before their rivals do the same. Offering in-store services like this will be just one more reason for shoppers not to visit their local high street. If this catches on it could really hurt the independents. And with so many UK high street stores bristling with outlets reliant on beauty-related products and services, there could be a steep increase in empty units.”