Five decades-old Falkirk salon credits customer loyalty for success

Staff at a Falkirk salon celebrating its 51st year in business have credited customers’ “incredible” loyalty for their continued success.

By Jonathon Reilly
Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 12:20 pm

Renella hit its latest milestone last month in the middle of the coronavirus lockdown, a factor which makes the achievement all the more impressive.

The Meadow Street hairdressing salon has managed to stay a cut above despite having to contend with various difficulties over the decades, not least the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Management single out the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 as another hugely challenging period in business.

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Laura Hill and Moira Holland-Forrester, part owners, are among the staff at Falkirk's Renella salon celebrating the business' 51st anniversary. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Having been ordered to shut up shop at the onset of lockdown, Renella employees are unsure as to when they’ll back doing what they love.

Yet, through all of the good times and bad times, one thing has remained a guarantee and that, staff say, is the unwavering support of Renella’s clients.

Managing director Ross Miller, who has taken over the reins from his parents, Anne and Thomas, believes the level of service provided by Renella over the years is what has set it apart.

He points to the fact his fellow Falkirk residents have stuck by the family-run salon since its early days right the way through as a telltale sign of the standards it upholds.

Ross said: “The loyalty is incredible and what we have to recognise is this is testament to the service we have created to allow people to want to keep coming back.

“There’s somebody that comes to us now who was my mum’s first ever client.

“We are fortunate we have a steady client base. We have always said this is only possible with the clients we have and the people who come to us.

“Things have changed massively in the last five or ten years for people but one thing that hasn’t is the education we provide for staff and our quality of service.”

In just over ten years, the salon’s workforce has had to be more than halved due to a self-employment trend within the industry.

Renella – the maiden name of Ross’ grandmother – now employs a team of 16, comprising hairdressers, beauty therapists and office staff. Prior to 2007, the business had 42 staff.

With his parents now retired, Ross is assisted by his business partners Laura Hill and Moira Holland-Forrester, both part owners.

Another remodelling had been planned at the start of this year before coronavirus hit the UK. Ross says the ambition to revamp the interior of the premises remains, however, just when that will be feasible is unclear.

He explained: “A quarter of our building is getting split into three units. It made it more affordable because it was almost too big.

“This was all prior to Covid-19. The salon was getting a new look and we were training all the team through a contract with Skills Development Scotland and we will still do that.

“I’ve got everyone furloughed and I’m waiting to hear when we can get back into action. All of the team are at home and we’re still doing training online.

“One of the messages we were sending out is we are evolving at the moment, although the lockdown has changed that somewhat.

“We love each client equally and would like to say thanks for all their years of service.”