A PYMNTS Company

UK Antitrust Authority Warns Nail Technicians Against Price-Fixing

 |  April 9, 2024

Amid the rise of the “National Nail Tech Price Increase Day” online campaign, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued a strong caution to nail technicians against potential price-fixing. The campaign, spearheaded by the trade organization Nail Tech Org (NTO), has drawn attention to the financial challenges faced by nail technicians, prompting over 5,000 professionals to consider raising their service fees.

According to NTO, nail technicians in the UK struggle to earn an average of just under £7 ($8.88) per hour, factoring in various overhead costs such as rent, energy, insurance, and products. This figure falls significantly below the recently increased national minimum wage of £11.44 ($14.51) per hour, which came into effect in April.

In response to the campaign, the CMA released an open letter cautioning businesses in the nail services industry to adhere to competition law, emphasizing the importance of setting prices independently. The authority explicitly stated that competitors should refrain from coordinating or discussing price increases, whether directly or through trade bodies or membership organizations.

Read more: UK Watchdog Warns Of Price Fixing Among Money Transfers Firms

Amy Guy, the founder of NTO, clarified that the campaign aimed to raise awareness among nail technicians about establishing sustainable and equitable businesses. She emphasized that any decisions regarding price adjustments would be made on an individual basis and that not all technicians would necessarily increase their rates.

The timing of the price hike campaign coincides with challenging economic circumstances in the UK. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the nation has grappled with soaring energy costs. Additionally, a widespread cost of living crisis has put pressure on consumers’ discretionary spending. Despite these challenges, demand for time-intensive nail services such as builder gel or acrylic manicures has surged in popularity.

Source: Business of Fashion