Celebrity hairdresser Nicky Clarke says he's had no complaints from clients about the additional fee he's introduced to cover the cost of PPE in his salons.
The hair stylist, 62, from London, appeared on Good Morning Britain today alongside spa owner Tru Powell and bar operator Jonathan Downey, to discuss whether businesses should increase their prices to boost profits as lockdown restrictions ease.
The celebrity hairdresser revealed his salons have introduced a nominal £5 fee to cover the cost of extra safety measures brought in following the crisis, and that none of his customers have mentioned the charge or believe the fee is 'unfair'.
However viewers weren't impressed, and argued that as a celebrity hairdresser who 'already overcharges', his wealthy clients wouldn't be likely to notice the fee, while others branded him 'greedy' for introducing the charge.
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Celebrity hairdresser Nicky Clarke (pictured) told on GMB this morning that he's had no complaints from clients about the additional fee he's introduced to cover the cost of PPE in his salons
Explaining why he believes extra charges are exploitative, Tru, from Birmingham, said: 'I understand the challenges that businesses face, but I don't think the customer should bear the brunt of that. I think it has to land at the government's door.'
He added: 'We need to treat customers how we expect to be treated. I'm a business owner, but I am also a customer and as a customer, it doesn't sit right with me.'
Nicky responded: 'I think there are times where it didn't sit well with me in the beginning. This was always a trial in a sense. We don't really want to be doing this, but not one person has mentioned it at all and said it is unfair.
'I don't want to be doing these charges, but these are unprecedented circumstances, and as long as it is a nominal charge, that in some form needs to be there in order for all of these services to survive.
However viewers weren't impressed, and argued that as a celebrity hairdresser who ' already overcharges' his wealthy clients wouldn't be likely to notice the fee
But some viewers agreed that additional charges are acceptable because PPE is 'mandatory and important'
He added: 'People always think the higher-end business are rolling in, it but we all run relatively close to the wind and the reduction of people puts a strain on all business.'
Viewers were quick to criticise the fee, with one writing: 'Of course Nicky Clarke and his customers will be fine with a £5 covid fee....him and his customers are celebrities with plenty of money! They don’t represent the everyday person.'
Another added: 'Nicky Clarke already charges over the odds for hairdressing. He has a cheek adding £5 for PPE'.
The famous hairdresser revealed his salons have introduced a nominal £5 fee to cover the cost of extra safety measures brought in following the coronavirus crisis
He appeared alongside spa owner Tru Powell (bottom left) and bar operator Jonathan Downey (top right) , to discuss whether businesses should increase their prices to boost profit after the coronavirus pandemic
'Oh Nikki Clarke', wote a third. 'Don't pretend you're hard up. If small salons aren't passing the cost on to customers then you can suck it up too. Stop being greedy.'
However others did sympathise with the hairdresser, with one writing: 'Yes, people should get charged for an appointment at a salon. Y'all who think different don't know how much PPE in salons and products in general are. Keeping everyone safe is mandatory and important. '
Jonathan, from Manchester, agreed with Nicky that prices would have to be increased to allow businesses to survive.
He said: 'I think customers can vote with their feet, each business is different and each makes the best decision for themselves and their customers. We've all been hit by extra costs.
While he is charging a nominal fee, Nicky, pictured in London in 2018, is not asking clients to pay more for services
He added:'There's still a long way for us to get back to business and making money again and it's reasonable for us to charge a little bit more.'
While he is charging a nominal fee, Nicky is not asking clients to pay more for services, and argued that with his capacity down to six clients a day, the nominal fee will help his business recover following the pandemic.
Nicky said: 'I certainly don't think it would be fair to charge more for our services. I think that would be very strange and I have heard people put phenomenal charges on the services they do, but these are things we do on a daily basis.
'So it seems odd to do that, but certainly from the point of view of the measures we put in, we put in a nominal five pound fee to cover screens and PPE etc.'
He added: 'Sometimes I'm down to six people a day and they're much longer days in terms of stretching out appointments and using time to sanitise down, these are literally nominal charges we're trying to put in. '