Sorbet Salons Deals, Specials & Catalogues

Sorbet is the first franchised chain of beauty salons in South Africa.

Sorbet is a chain of beauty salons that has managed to achieve a lot of success in its short history. The business has operations in South Africa and in the UK. The company was founded by Ian Fuhr, who got the idea to start the business when his massage therapist mentioned that the local market was ready for a beauty salon brand. While there were many competitors in the sector, most were single-store businesses owned and managed by the beauty therapists themselves. Ian roped in his niece, Debbie, and opened the first two Sorbet Salons in 2005 in the Johannesburg suburbs of Bedfordview and Norwood. Ian faced some challenges in 2007 that made him almost abandon the venture altogether. After partnering with his friend, Rudi Rudolph, the two managed to save the company, and by 2008, Sorbet had opened a salon in Sea Point, Cape Town. The two partners decided that the future growth of the brand would come via a franchising model. In 2009, with 22 corporate-owned Sorbet stores already fully operational, the first franchise store was opened. Franchising further fuelled Sorbet’s growth – adding a further 10 salons, including the first Durban store at the Gateway Shopping Centre – within two years. In 2012, Sorbet launched Drybar, a new concept in hairdressing that focuses exclusively on blowout styling delivered in a relaxing environment. In the same year, the Sorbet brand’s own range of bath and beauty products was also launched in collaboration with Clicks. By its 10th year of operation, Sorbet had 116 stores operating, with a majority of them being owned by franchisees. The company had also introduced grooming salons for men.

Sorbet’s treatments are provided in comfortable and uncluttered salons and delivered by professional beauty technicians. The salon is a stockist of Environ and Dermalogica’s product ranges, and these also form the basis of the skincare treatments that are offered. The salon places more of an emphasis on product sales than its competitors, and as a result, only 40% of its turnover is reliant on treatments. In 2006, the Sorbet Society loyalty programme was launched, allowing customers to earn points anytime they booked a treatment. The programme has approximately 300,000 active members.

Sorbet opened its first UK store in 2014. There are currently 3 stores in London.