Don’t save the high street – change it completely, says retail guru Mary Portas

Members of the exclusive L’Oréal Professionnel Paris Portfolio represent some of the UK’s most progressive, successful and forward-thinking salons (think Adam Reed London, Linton & Mac, The Boutique Atelier and Electric), so when they get together the conversation is always going to be worth listening to.

At their latest gathering, at The Corinthia Hotel in London, they were joined by retail guru Mary Portas, who argued that the pandemic has accelerated huge shifts in the way people shop. Her focus is on a new ‘kindness economy’, where high street growth will be driven by an overarching philosophy that involves some kind of contribution to making life better – excellent service that can’t be replicated online, expert knowledge, community hubs, alongside sustainability, innovation and ‘standing for something’.

Discussions around L’Oréal Professionnel Paris Portfolio members made it clear that hairdressing will play a vital role in this new environment – Guy Kremer and Charlie Miller Salons shared how they’d taken positives from the past 18 months to introduce new practices within their business, a panel debate highlighted industry efforts to reduce waste, and a closing speech from L’Oréal Professional Products Division managing director Beatrice Dautzenberg highlighting the valuable role hairdressing plays in society. Onward and very much upward, people!

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