The countdown to Christmas Day has begun, and Brits are looking forward to celebrating the end of 2021 in style. With many consumers across the country making the most of the recent Black Friday deals, CallCare has revealed how much money men and women across the UK are willing to spend in preparation for their Christmas parties and festive gatherings with friends, family and work colleagues. According to statistics provided by the Salford-based call centre, the average Brit spent £143 in 2019. However, this is likely to double as Brits are expected to spend more to find their perfect Christmas party outfit and be glam and ready for their special occasion.

Finding a budget-friendly outfit has been more accessible than ever for consumers as retailers such as ASOS and PRETTY LITTLE THING have reduced items to up to 80% to help people find an appropriate outfit to wear for their office party. This means that women have been able to find items such as a dress, jumpsuit, blazer or heels for as little as £12. Meanwhile, men have been able to save up £200 as they have been able to purchase a brand new suit for £250 by using ASOS Black Friday discount codes. Other costs that Brits have had to consider this year for their festive celebrations are their beauty and grooming appointments. Where a hair and make-up appointment with an experienced hair dress and MUA would’ve cost £20 in 2019, this year reports that the average price of getting the same treatment has climbed to £40. This is likely due to small businesses having to push prices up to salvage money lost during the pandemic.

To help us understand why people are investing more in their beauty treatments, CallCare spoke to SMEs that specialise in makeup and hair to find out what the booking process has been like this December and what precautions they’ve put in place in order to secure customer appointments. Hairdressers, make-up artists and barbers have advised that customers have had to increase their prices to cover a loss of money due to the nationwide lockdowns. Customers have also had to put a 50% deposit down in order to secure an appointment for their work’s Christmas party and other festive plans. Introducing a deposit has allowed these small business owners to better prepare for the busy Christmas period and also assures their customer base that their appointments are secure. The SMEs included in the report advised that they alerted customers about this new deposit scheme as early as September by various means such as social media and newsletters.

CallCare spoke to Elizabeth Booth, Founder of Glam by Elizbeth Daisy, who shared her schedule and thoughts regarding the state of the beauty industry during the Christmas period:

“2021 has been an amazing year and I’m truly grateful to all of the amazing clients who have booked an appointment with me. Like many SMEs in this industry, we started off on a bumpy ride but we all pulled through and came back with the determination to make sure our customers look and feel their best. I love my job and I’m grateful that I get to help boost women’s self-confidence by giving them a GLAM makeover.”

“To help prepare for Christmas, I informed my customers on Facebook and Instagram about my booking process and deposit scheme to make them aware of my availability. As most people will have their parties on a Friday and Saturday, I wanted to ensure that my clients will have plenty of time to book their appointments. My aim is to make these appointments as enjoyable as the festive season should be – I want my clients to feel comfortable and relaxed, to unwind and have a glass of fizz in my Glam salon chair as they prepare for their Christmas dos, which were likely cancelled last year. I can’t wait to give these women their amazing makeovers and let them walk away from my salon in Wakefield with so much confidence.”

Founder of Mercy’s Barbers, Don Mercy, shared how his barber shop has grown during the pandemic and how his grooming appointments are more than just simple hair or beard trims:
“Like many business owners in the grooming industry, we’ve faced some hurdles this year, but as a community, we’ve come together and worked really hard to reshape and grow our business. Mercy’s Barbers expanded in 2021 as I opened a second barber shop in Holmfirth, which is managed by a talented barber called Peter Illingsworth. I made the decision to expand my barber shop outside of Pontefract as I love Holmfirth and it’s a place that my wife and I love visiting as we have friends and family in the area. Customer service is a core part of my business and I try to cultivate a light environment where regular customers and new clients get the same treatment and are able to detach from work and home and have a laugh and enjoyable grooming experience.”

“To help prepare for the festive season, Peter and I have made sure that customers book their grooming appointments in advance as we predict that 2021 will be a busy time for our Pontefract or Holmfirth barber shops. Customers have been great at following the online booking process as we have advised that we will no longer be taking December bookings after the 5th.”

Gemma Harding at CallCare commented on how their customer service team is supporting the beauty and cosmetic industry during the festive season:

“To help these businesses during the festive season, we have put together a robust customer service strategy that these businesses can use during this busy season. We have ensured that the team is available 24/7 to answer any queries from customers on social media, email and on the phone. Covid has accelerated the move to online sales for our customers in the beauty sector. Online is a 24/7 activity and customer service needs to match. “

“A digitally savvy customer base has high expectations and wants instant responses. At this time of year there’s a surge in demand and that leads to more questions than ever about deliveries and order tracking, especially for those last minute pre-christmas purchases. Businesses need to act and act quickly and social tools are a great way of being accessible and for engaging with customers to resolve issues and answer questions quickly.”