Downtown Diva owner Sally Johnson has spent $50,000 to set up a home salon after it was revealed the Kern Arcade, from where she has been operating, will close at the end of January.
Downtown Diva owner Sally Johnson has spent $50,000 to set up a home salon after it was revealed the Kern Arcade, from where she has been operating, will close at the end of January.

Owner reveals cost of relocating Kern Arcade business

Hairdresser Sally Johnson says relocating from the Kern Arcade has her “out of pocket to the tune of $50,000”.

The owner of Downtown Diva has decided to open a home salon at Gracemere after it was revealed the arcade would close at the end of January.

The Cooper family, who owns the arcade, has since announced it would be put on the market early this year.

Ms Johnson has operated there for about five years.

“When you don’t know what’s going on, you’re not going to put your family’s livelihood on the line for it to all fall apart,” she said.

Downtown Diva owner Sally Johnson has opted to open home salon after it was announced the Kern Arcade would close.
Downtown Diva owner Sally Johnson has opted to open home salon after it was announced the Kern Arcade would close.

“It was far too expensive to go elsewhere in the CBD and with the uncertainty of what they’re actually doing with the Kern Arcade and other buildings in the area, for me it was a safer option to start a home salon.

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“We’re out of pocket to the tune of $50,000 at the moment because we’ve had to bring in a demountable building so there’s council permitting, there’s running of water lines and powerlines, putting in of septic and water tanks and then the complete cost of decking out a new salon.”

Downtown Diva owner Sally Johnson, pictured with customer Jane Simmons, is hoping to retain the majority of her clientele with her move from the Kern Arcade.
Downtown Diva owner Sally Johnson, pictured with customer Jane Simmons, is hoping to retain the majority of her clientele with her move from the Kern Arcade.

Ms Johnson said despite the unexpected expense, she was trying to look at the change as a positive.

“I’m happy to now be moving out of here,” she said. “I’ll miss the locals of course because we had a lovely group of people who came in and out (of the arcade).

“I’m hoping to maintain the majority of my clientele, though you will always lose some because any move won’t suit everybody.”

Ms Johnson was also investigating mobile licensing, so she could continue to service some of her older customers who might not be able to get to Gracemere.

Her last day at the arcade will be January 30, and she hopes to have her home salon at 3 Tindall Road open on February 1.

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