Maple Grove Simonson’s Salon to Close Sundays to Cope with Labor Shortage
On any given day, staff members at Maple Grove’s Simonson’s Salon & Spa are kept busy as customers come in wanting to look and feel their best.
“Over the last 18 months, it’s been pretty crazy,” said Autumn Gray, Simonson’s brand and talent specialist.
Gray says that 18 months ago when the state allowed salons to reopen after the COVID-19 shutdown, people were more than ready to schedule appointments.
“When the closure ended, we had a huge surge of new customers coming in, as well as all of our returning customers, continue to visit us,” Gray said. “And we were super grateful for it.”
Yet while the customers returned, the labor force didn’t quite follow suit.
“We are currently hiring stylists, massage therapists, nail technicians, as well as both full-time and part-time front desk staff,” Gray said.
It’s a common story heard throughout the state.
Record number of job vacancies
According to figures released last month by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), employers in Minnesota reported more than 205,000 vacancies in the second quarter of 2021. That’s an 84 percent increase compared to the same period in 2020.
State officials attribute it to people dropping out of the labor force over COVID concerns.
At Simonson’s, the current staff tried to pick up the slack.
“Our team did everything they could to meet our guests’ needs,” Gray said. “Working late, picking up extra shifts, helping out their teammates any way they could. But they were experiencing a burnout too, which we didn’t want.”
So to avoid burnout, the Maple Grove location decided to close on Sundays, effective Nov. 21. The Plymouth location made a similar move last year.
“We always pride ourselves on making our guests feel and be their best, as well as our team feel and be their best, and that just wasn’t happening,” Gray said. “And so we did have to make a difficult decision.”
A difficult decision that will hopefully work out in the long run for Simonson’s, as its staff members get a much-needed day of rest.
“We want to send a huge thank you to our team for their dedication and hard work over this crazy, crazy time,” Gray said. “And to all of our customers and guests out there, thank you so much to sticking with us.”