Lockdown heartbreak as Alnwick beauty salon forced to close just days after opening

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Lockdown has caused heartbreak for many businesses but few more so than an Alnwick beauty salon which was forced to close just days after its grand opening.

Mel Dial opened House of Elite on Market Place on October 24, just a week before Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the second national lockdown.

"It was utterly heart-breaking, not just for me but all of my staff,” said Mel, who had previously run an aesthetics clinic from the town’s Elite Fitness gym.

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The salon was open from 7am until 10pm on the last few days before lockdown as its eight staff tried to cater for as many customers as possible.

House of Elite opened a few days before lockdown.House of Elite opened a few days before lockdown.
House of Elite opened a few days before lockdown.

"Obviously we’re now going to take a massive hit,” Mel said.

“We’ll hopefully be back on December 3 ready and raring to go for chapter two but I have my doubts how much things will change over the next month.

"It would be devastating if we missed the Christmas period because we’ve got so many bookings in place,” she added.

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She is unsure how much financial support will be available to her.

House of Elite in Alnwick.House of Elite in Alnwick.
House of Elite in Alnwick.

"The new limited company was only registered at the beginning of October so I’m not sure what we’ll be eligible for,” she said.

Mel has been delighted with the response from customers since opening,

“The salon had been buzzing and fully booked since we opened and we were getting great feedback,” she said.

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"The business had outgrown the clinic and needed more space and this location on Market Place is ideal.

House of Elite staff on opening day.House of Elite staff on opening day.
House of Elite staff on opening day.

"I felt there was a niche in the market for a one-stop shop for various beauty aspects and have tried to create something that will be a bit of a social hub for people to come into.

"There have been a lot of positive comments about the look of the place too. It’s very Instagrammable, especially the neon signs.

"Obviously the decision to open in the middle of a pandemic was a bit of a risk but I decided to bite the bullet. It’s maybe not looking like the best decision in the world right now but we’ll be back.”

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House of Elite on Market Place, Alnwick.House of Elite on Market Place, Alnwick.
House of Elite on Market Place, Alnwick.

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