Your lockdown one year on: Falkirk salon changes business model to cope amid pandemic

A Falkirk salon has had to completely switch up its style to cope with the effects of the Covid pandemic.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 12:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 12:48 pm

On the day the UK marks the first anniversary of the country being forced into lockdown, bosses at Renella have revealed the lengths to which they’ve gone to ensure the business can still prosper in the future.

The Meadow Street salon has changed its look to cater for more clients and effectively become a training academy to support the next generation of hairdressers.

Managing director Ross Miller said: “We’ve changed our business model because of all this.

Renella in Falkirk has changed its business model to support more apprentices during lockdown. Pictured are Moira Holland-Forrester and Laura Hill, part-owners. Picture: Michael Gillen.

“The unit we were in was really big. We’ve split it up into two units. As a salon, we’re moving into one side and had it renovated.

“With distancing measures taken into consideration, we’ve created a salon environment around both.

“We took the decision to split it because we wanted to do a number of things: we’ve safeguarded ourselves so we can afford to keep running and I’ve also got a Medusa Training Academy.

“Last May, the Athena Training Academy retired and we picked up from. We’re trying to help as many people as possible with apprenticeships for hairdressing.

“There were lots of salons in the Falkirk area who used to go to Athena for apprenticeships and didn’t have anywhere to go so we picked up on that and started to advertise.

“I realised salons were going to go back last July and it would be mental. My fear, as a training provider company, was what was going to happen to apprentices – were people going to keep them in a job?”

To save local jobs, Mr Miller decided to advertise to fellow hairdressers and asked them to furlough apprentices and send them on for training – free of charge.

He added: “Our academy has tripled in size. We’ve got 60 to 70 apprentices coming to us a week and we visit a number of salons in Scotland.

“We got money from the government but we used our grant to allow apprentices to come for free.

“We knew it would help people. We didn’t have a lot of money but I knew we could cope and, also, we could grow the business.”

Thank you for reading this article on our free-to-read website. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

Please consider purchasing a subscription to our print newspaper to help fund our trusted, fact-checked journalism.