Ginza×CSR Vol.28 Lond
“GINZA×CSR” Vol. 28 will introduce Lond, a hair salon based in Ginza that opened its first store in 2013. Under its “Employee First” policy, Lond has resolved working condition issues, which are serious problems in the beauty industry. We interviewed Mr. Yoshinobu Ishida, co-representative of Lond.
How a hair salon can address social issues
- ─ I believe there are few hair salons engaged in CSR. What was your motivation?
- I launched Lond with five classmates from beauty college. We had talked about running a beauty salon together when we were students and when I was 28, we opened our first store in Ginza.
We currently run three hair salons and two eyelash extension salons in Ginza. We also have a salon in Kinshicho and we have just opened one in Jakarta this October.
Once we had accomplished one of our goals, I developed a strong desire to contribute to society. Of course, a beauty salon already contributes to society in the sense that our job is to have our customers leave our store with energy and self-onfidence.
However, the world is challenged with various social issues. For example, my idea about children and poverty is that although children may not be able to choose where they are born, they should be equally entitled with the opportunity to grow and succeed. Just when I was wondering what we could do to resolve such social issues as a beauty salon, I learned about the concepts of CSR and CSV (creating social value).
I learned that I could approach social issues as a company, without engaging in volunteer work or launching a new NPO. Then I went on to read various books on the subject. Everything was new to me, and it was exciting just reading about it. That is how I came to want to become involved in CSR.
Moreover, when I look out to our corporate future, I feel a need to be engaged in CSR. Our aim is to top the industry in annual sales. If a leading company is engaged in CSR, then I am sure that CSR will spread to other companies as well.
There are limits to the change that a company can generate alone, but if we can make it the prevailing attitude, then we can create a change for the better in society.
Hair salon Lond 店内
What Employee First stands for
- ─ To be more specific, what are some examples of your CSR activities.?
- First of all, we conduct cleanups in Ginza and Kinshicho, where our salons are located. It is our way of showing our appreciation to the town that we work in.
Instead of beginning CSR after becoming a large company, I wanted to start with what we can as a company with sixty employees. I hope that we can invite more companies and people to join us.
Another important aspect is employment. Under our management philosophy “Employee First,” we make every effort to make our employees happy, both physically and mentally. Beauty salons tend to have a high employee turnover rate, but no one has quit Lond during the five years that we have been in business.
From our establishment, we have kept a five-day work week system. Four employees have taken maternity leave and childcare leave. The average age of our stylists is 27, and their average salary is 560,000 yen. In business management, we endeavor to pay our employees a good salary.
- ─ How did “Employee First” become your management philosophy?
- We had decided on this policy before we founded the company because we felt that unhappy employees could not make their customers happy.
I believe that by managing the business in a way that employees do not want to quit, each individual stylist can lead a fulfilling life and be maximally productive in their professional life as a stylist.
- ─ Do you have a corporate philosophy?
- Our corporate philosophy is “Love for All.” We felt that this was something that we could keep no matter how large or diversified our company became in the future.
Our name “Lond” begins with an “L,” which stands for “Love.” It was also taken from the musical form “rondo,” in which principal theme alternates with one or more contrasting themes.
Like the “rondo,” we hope that through our business, we can enrich the lives of all stakeholders, including our employees and customers.
“Rondo” starts with an “r,” but we named our company “Lond” with an “L” because we wanted our name to represent “love,” “life” and “luxe.”
Aiming to spread CSR across the beauty industry by expanding networks
- ─ Please tell us about your future business plans and CSR activities.
- We are actually in the midst of creating a new corporate philosophy. We conducted a survey asking our employees what how they wanted the company to be and what kind people they wanted to work with. We will spend a year working on developing a new “Lond philosophy” and start implementing it next year.
We decided to do this to be sure that our corporate DNA would be passed down by our employees. If we shared a principle that we decided on together, we would not be lost in the face of challenges but be confident about the direction in which the company should head.
We currently hold monthly study sessions for our employees where we communicate our corporate history as well as our management and corporate philosophies. We also explain how we manage to maintain such high salary levels and offer our employees the opportunity to participate in management to a certain extent. Once you understand the company that you work for enough to be able to talk about it with your customers, then you have the power to make them fans.
There are many ways that the beauty industry can engage in CSR by using our expertise to contribute to society. I hope that someday, by offering our professional styling skills, we can let children living in welfare institutions or orphanages feel joy and gain self-confidence.
I also intend to expand our network within the beauty industry to spread CSR across the industry. That will help us cause greater change than what we can accomplish on our own.
In terms of increasing business locations, we will open four salons in Nagoya next year. And when the timing is right, we hope to expand to overseas locations other than Jakarta.
- ─ Before we conclude, please tell us your thoughts about Ginza, where you first established your company.
- The reason we started in Ginza was that it was the perfect location to crystallize our vision of an ideal beauty salon, which was “excellent skills, excellent service, and excellent atmosphere for a stunning price.” We did consider other options but when in came to cleanliness, Ginza was the only choice.
Ginza is a wonderful place. When we explore new locations, we always search for a place like Ginza, but such a place is not to be found. Ginza is number one.
Born in 1985. Ishida opened the first Lond salon in Ginza in August 2013 and now co-manages salons in Ginza, Kinshicho, and Jakarta. Besides being a business manager and stylist, he works as a photographer, holding photo shooting seminars nationwide and taking photos for beauty product manufacturers and apparel brands. He also offers his professional photographing skills at events held by the Council of Social Welfare.
alterna editorial desk
Written by: Haruka Komatsu ／ Planned and edited by: alterna