I’ve just read a post and subsequent comments on the fabulous www.beaut.ie about Tesco in-store beauty salons. Until I read this, I really didn’t think I had much to say on the subject, but the Beauties know how to get people talking and thinking so now I do have something to say about it.
Tesco basically dominates virtually every single town in the UK – it has shredded traditional high streets all over the land with price wars that independent retailers just can’t match. I have a Tesco just round the corner from me and it is where I shop the most, but do I like shopping there? No, not really. It’s just convenient and that is all. But would I want my lower legs waxed for a tenner after I’ve picked up the fruit and veg? No, thank you. Not because I don’t want a wax for a tenner, but because I really just cannot stand the way that Tesco is determined to single-handedly turn the UK into United Tesco. Whether salons are over-priced or not, what else are they going to incoroporate into the mega-stores? They already sell books, stamps, clothes, electricals and the obvious food, meat, fish and whatever else you could possibly need. But a haircut in Tesco? I don’t think it would be worse than anywhere else – why should it be? But if we want our high streets turned into derelict shadows then obviously heading along to Tesco is the thing to do. Personally, I don’t want that. And it isn’t some middleclass value that wants artisan shops and carbon neutral cheese; it’s more that not having individual high street shops impacts more than you can imagine. When I was little, going to the sweetshop involved a whole lot of learning processes; making decisions on what I wanted, how many I wanted, how much I could actually afford with my pocket money and understanding weights was all seamlessly integrated into something I didn’t even think twice about. Going to the grocer or the butcher was exactly the same and buying ingredients raw to actually cook something was a start to finish process that instilled a whole pile of skills that one just incorporated into daily life. If what Tesco are doing is trying to create a mind-numbing one stop shop for all areas of life, where thought isn’t necessary, in a sterile, pleasureless environment, yay! They win that badge, in my opinion.
The other thing is that beauty treatments come in all shapes and sizes, but even 15 minutes at the beautician can give you a me-time break that is far removed from a tag-it-on-to-the-other-chores experience Tesco is offering. It’s only a hair cut or a leg-wax but to shrink wrap that too is crazy – let’s leave beauty treatments as a salon experience, support our local businesses and not disintigrate our beauty time into a supermarket trolley dash. If it means salons have to be more competitive, then that is great for the end user, but if it means salons have to shut down, then it’s shocking.
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Apart from cost I don’t really see what they can offer. I don’t buy my insurance from Tesco because I don’t really trust them. Come to think of it, I don’t buy my food from them either. I wouldn’t trust anyone other than my regular hairdresser to cut my hair. But even if I didn’t I think I would prefer to support the independant retailers in my area.
Great post and I would imagine many readers would agree with you. I know I do. But retailers like Tesco didn’t get where they are by overlooking any opportunity to make a sale. And Brits, rightly or wrongly, love a bargain like no other consumers I’ve ever seen. The recession just lends more justification for the demise of yet another sector of business. Call me jaded, but I suspect when push comes to shove, the average consumer could care less if independant salons go under, so long as they can get their beauty fix at the lowest possible price.
By the way, I love that phrase you’ve used “United Tesco”.
Very well said BBB! 🙂
Very well put.
Whilst many of us enjoy the experience of a salon, most are purely price influenced. Too much pressure from the big boys continues to reduce the interest on our high streets and in our baskets, and is systematically restricting our choices. Entrepreneurial spirit is being stamped upon the world over and reaches far beyond the beauty world.
I think mediocre shops will close and good ones will continue despite pressure from big-box shops. They would just have to change their operations from family shop to a real business to stay competitive.
Salons that give bad haircuts but charge twice or more than what a place like Tesco charges should close. I have had $200 haircuts, $50 haircuts, and $10 ones. The $200 haircut is amazing but I can’t usually afford it. The $50 haircut has been great or really bad. The $10 cut, well its $10 lol. What makes me mad is when I go to a $50 salon and the cut is no better than the $10 cut. Those places should close. Not every small shop is a good place. They can have expired goods, poor safety standards and too high prices.
Sorry, I’m going to go where it’s cheapest and I won’t apologise. If independent retailers will offer it cheaper than Tesco, or better than Tesco, then I’d be going there instead.
I completely agree! i enjoy the experience of going to a salon that is independently owed, i feel like they value my cusom. I can’t help but think that Tesco would have less focus on the relaxing salon experience and more about clinical, quick services – conveyor belt beauty!!
Well the answer is if you don’t like it don’t go.
It’ll mean that when I’m in a hurry and don’t have the time or money (hello student loan) to go to a beauty salon, the line at Tesco will be shorter without you in in it 🙂
Huh?! I’ve just been back in the blogging world and now there’s gonna be Tesco salons?! Yucks.
as an American, I think I am so used to massive department stores like Walmart and Target being the norm that I almost prefer convenience over the individuality of smaller high street shops. but this actually made me think about the advantages of going to several different places for shopping, even for food. when I was in England for a few months last year, I missed the 24 hour supermarket but I never thought about the whole “systematically restricting our choices” thing. thanks for bringing that to my attention! I hate being unaware of how blind I am to some things :/
but I do think beauty services is where I’d draw the line. I love salons so I couldn’t imagine going to Walmart/ASDA/Tesco for that sort of thing! love your blog 🙂 x
“making decisions on what I wanted, how many I wanted, how much I could actually afford with my pocket money and understanding weights was all seamlessly integrated into something I didn’t even think twice about. Going to the grocer or the butcher was exactly the same and buying ingredients raw to actually cook something was a start to finish process that instilled a whole pile of skills that one just incorporated into daily life.”
and in what world is it NOT possible to do all those things in a Tesco store????
Surely a child with pocket money to spend on sweets still has to decide what it wants and how much it can afford – I will concede that it probably wont get much understanding of weights but they are printed there on the packet if the accommpanying parent bothers to show it and there are very few sweets shops that still sell things loose by weight anyway
And the last time I looked tesco sold all kinds of basic ingredients to make your own food – they are a supermarket after all!
I’m sorry but that argument doesn’t hold sway at all.
I can, however, understand people wanting a salon experience to be something special rather than something you pick up with your toilet rolls and potatoes, but for many people the convenience will outweigh the novelty factor.
I do get annoyed when people rail against the big supermarkets taking over from the high street – I love Tescos (and the other big supermarkets too) – they are open until very late (often 24 hours – when my daughter was ill in the middle of the night and I needed first aid supplies could I go to the chemist on the high street? – of course not! – but my local Tescos was open and had everything I needed), they are placed conveniently, they have free parking and toilets, they make my life easier.
If I want to go to an independent retailer on the high street I have to find somewhere to park (not easy when its busy) often at great expense (have you seen the parking fees in some town centre??) and I can only do it during daytime hours when I’m invariably at work – totally inconvenient for me.
So in conclusion, Tescos please keep up the good work you do by giving us the convenience we want and need – some of us love you for it!
Great post, and I imagine that many readers would agree with you. I know what I’m doing. But retailers such as Tesco did not get, but with the possibility of making the sale. And the British, right or wrong, I love a bargain compared to any other consumers have ever seen. Recession only provides more arguments again the death of the industry. Call me tired, but I suspect when it comes time to put the average consumer could care less if an independent salons to get involved, provided they can get the beauty fix the lowest possible price.