The ONE thing people really want whether they have returned to the office or are still working from home
- Spending at hairdressers has doubled in Sydney’s city centre and the suburbs
- Credit check firm illion revealed how the central business district is back to life
- Demand for services surging despite rules requiring fully-vaccinated customers
Office workers really want a haircut or a blow dry after months of being kept at home and the data proves it.
Spending at hairdressers has more than doubled since the end of lockdowns, in both the city centre and the suburbs.
Sydney’s central business district is finally coming back to life following the end of a four-month lockdown in October.
State government rules only allowing vaccinated customers to enter indoor premises wearing a face mask have done nothing to deter demand for services, with spending doubling for hairdressers, suburban bartenders and shop assistants compared with the peak of lockdowns.
Office workers simply want a haircut after months of being kept at home and the data proves it. Spending at hairdressers has more than doubled since the end of lockdowns, in both the city centre and the suburbs
Where spending has DOUBLED post lockdown
Hairdressers CBD: Up 150 percentage points
Hairdressers suburbs: Up 105 percentage points
Department stores suburbs: Up 130 percentage points
Pubs suburbs: Up 106 percentage points
Source: Credit, debit card spending data from illion comparing October 25 to 31 with all of August 2021. Spending during lockdowns fell below the base level of January 2020 before the pandemic
In fact, spending at hairdressers in Sydney’s CBDs in the final week of October was 150 percentage points stronger than it was during all of August, new data from credit check firm illion and professional services firm Accenture showed.
‘Extremely strong growth throughout Sydney, in particular the CBDs as people return to the office,’ the report said.
Suburban hairdressers outside the centre of Sydney, Parramatta and North Sydney saw a 105 percentage point increase.
But with some people still working from home, department stores are doing better in the suburbs, with trade surging by 130 percentage points as upmarket city centre outlets saw an 86 percentage point increase.
Pubs also did better away from the city centres, with suburban trade doubling too, rising by 106 percentage points compared with a 58 percentage point increase in the CBD.
Restaurants, however, did better in the city with spending up 61 percentage points compared with just 17 percentage points in the suburbs.
Cafes also did better in the CBD with spending up by a third compared with 22 percentage points in the suburbs.
When it came to exercise, the increase in spending was similar with CBD fitness centres and gyms seeing a 58 percentage point increase compared with a 59 percentage point rise outside the key central business districts.
Nick Robinson, illion’s director of data and analytics, said demand for hairdressers, beauty salons and gyms was likely to keep surging throughout summer.
‘We are expecting this discretionary spending to increase as we look forward to Christmas and the holidays,’ he said.
The data covered spending on credit and debit cards both in-store and online.
It took January 2020, before the pandemic, as a base number and compared spending patterns in August during the lockdown with late October after restrictions had eased.
But with some people still working from home, department stores are doing better in the suburbs, with trade surging by 150 percentage points as upmarket city centre outlets saw an 86 per cent increase
The surge in demand is occurring as employers struggle to recruit staff, especially in customer-facing jobs.
In NSW, the number of advertised hospitality and tourism jobs on the Seek website last month surged by 46.2 per cent.
Seek’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Kendra Banks, said recruiters were finding it ‘challenging’ competing with each other to hire staff with so many positions available.
‘Despite site visits remaining high, there is still a hesitancy, particularly with customer-facing roles, with people not wanting to move jobs just yet,’ she said.