I love everything new. Don’t you? New restaurants (most of them are bad), new hotels (checking out the Shinola in a couple weeks), new TV series (loved the last episode of Ray Donovan and into Stranger Things), new food items (are you into Halo ice cream, they secretly stole a huge chunk of the market), new clothes and shoes (average man owns 12 pairs of shoes, average woman 27 pairs), and let’s not talk about alcohol.
But what I love best when it comes to new is designing, creating, and producing new products for our customers. What women really love most about new products are beauty products especially those that are fragranced (lotions must pass the smell test first) or offer seasonal colors (lipsticks, lip gloss, nail polish). For our salon and spa customers, beauty products designed to assist in the salon or spa service are also important.
Here are some of my fav new products that are now in stock and in no particular order:
1. Kudo’s Gift & Greeting Card. The idea of combining our best-selling bath bombs with a high quality greeting card came to me after spending $5.99-$7.99 for a Papyrus greeting card. Even Hallmark cards are that expensive and all you get is a card. For the same price or less, Kudo’s offers a really cool spinning bath bomb and greeting card. There are more than 30 variations including Happy Birthday, Love, Anniversary, Thank you, Friendship and more. $5.99 MRSP
2. Misty Mountain Aroma Diffuser. From Pure Essential Oil Works, Misty Mountain is the first open diffuser that allows the mist to resemble fog in a mountain range. When lit and in a dark setting it is quite magical. $49.99 MSRP.
3. 5-Layer Cotton Pads. ForPro once again delivers one of the most amazing cotton products to hit the market. Invented in Japan, ForPro developed the product in its factory in China and the results are spectacular. Each pad contains 5 layers that can be removed layer by layer to use as a facial. Or you can use the pad for removing makeup or nail polish. They come packed in a handy dispenser box. 80-ct, $2.99 MSRP
4. Island Flip-Flops. As most of you know I hate socks and prefer to walk bare foot. That is one reason why I love flip-flops and thought, why not come out with a line of flip-flops to compete against store brands such as Havainas. Most are over-priced and over-rated. These I love because they are ultra-comfy, contoured strap feels like you are walking on air and natural rubber conforms to the curves of the foot. For $4.99 – $5.99 MSRP, they are amazing. Available in solid colors and patterns.
5. HEMP Herbal Body Moisturizer. From Ginger Lily Farms Botanicals, HEMP is everything you want in a lotion and capitalizes on the hemp seed oil craze going on in America. Stunning packaging, awesome fruity banana fragrance and $9.99 MSRP that is less than half the price of the competition. 17 oz. and gallon size for the family.
6. EMMA Drench Cuticle Oil. EMMA is the buzz of the industry and let me tell you, the upcoming Las Vegas Spring collection is a winner-winner! Drench is all about sensory flavors for the brain and escapism with scents such as Coco Mango and Juicy Citrus. .5 oz. $5.00 MSRP.
7. THE WORKS Luxurious Shower Cap. Actually I love all our new shower caps from the ALL NIGHT to PEVA and linerless. However, THE WORKS is more than 6 months in the making and I would say the best shower cap all-time. $19.99 MSRP is a real deal for this masterpiece.
8. ForPro 510S & 910S Foil Sheets. OK so you ask yourself, how can anyone get excited about a foil sheet? I always like to tell the story of the first time pregnant woman who needs to buy maternity clothes. Up until that moment she had no idea where any maternity stores were. Foil sheets are sort of the same story, you have to use them to understand my excitement. Our ForPro 500S and 900S sheets are already best-sellers, so you might ask again, why 510S and 910S? It all has to do with the dimple design and true foil enthusiasts love certain dimple designs. And now, whether they love the embossed design or new dimple design, we have the foil! $7.49 – $9.49 MSRP
There are a few more fav’s that are still not in stock, so once in stock, I will share those with you next.
This is one of my favorite times of the year: Christmas has finally come and gone and the days up to New Year’s are slow, traffic is light and most people are off work and enjoying. It’s the perfect time to think about the upcoming year. As one of my loyal readers you know I have thoughts on most topics so for my last blog of 2018, let me share some thoughts for 2019.
Trump: Trump lost the House and now is in his West Palm Beach self-contained resort pouting and using the federal government as hostage. He wants a border wall or the 800,000 government employees be damned. Oh, let’s not forget about the 200,000 contractors also affected. If this was the only event worth watching that would be enough. But no, we have to contend with China/USA trade tariffs due March 1 (my thoughts with 2020 on Trump’s mind and the stock market down from the start of the year, an agreement will be made, however, not sure the 10% will be rescinded even if the agreement is made). Trump certainly ranks as one of the most dangerous presidents America has ever had, he represents the wild card for 2019.
China: Premier Xi Pinjing has made it known that he wants his country to be the #1 player in the world by 2025. At the age of 65, he has a lifetime commitment to make it happen. This is one reason why Trump is playing China so hard, especially with IT and trade secret theft. America must remain the #1 player on the world stage and do just about everything within legal means to keep Xi’s ambition at bay. 2019 will test both players.
Business: While consumer confidence hit a 5-month low this month, retail sales were at the highest level in more than a decade. Go figure. Housing remains weak, oil is at historical low prices with a glut that won’t go away anytime soon. But the few corporations that are left are doing better than ever and if the tariffs are resolved amicably, we should see the stock market go up 10% and corporate profits continue to rise. Everyone is predicting the start of a recession in 2020 but as we know, everyone is traditionally wrong. With student debt hitting a new record of $1.5T and corporate debt at all-time highs, the next recession could be nasty. Then again, let’s see what the Fed does with interest rate hikes in 2019.
Beauty: Baby boomers, Millennial’s and even the X, Y and Z generation all have one thing in common: They love beauty products. The question will be in 2019, who gets the business? Ulta will continue to drive sales growth opening at least 100 new stores and taking market share from Sephora. With traditional malls in decline the question for Sephora is how are they going to redeploy and become relevant again to shoppers that hate visiting malls.
Pro beauty business continues on its path to being neutralized. Amazon has signed up just about every major player so between them and Ulta, consumers have no need to buy retail products at salons. Booth rental continues to explode and independent contractors who rent space make less money and receive no benefits. When was the last retail hair brand introduced? Both Cosmoprof and Salon Centric will operate more stores with fewer DSC’s and offer less education. Cash & carry trade shows are so yesterday but the two remaining ones make so much money for the organizers, they will continue as long as booths and tickets sell.
Pro magazines will continue to crash and burn, they are already ghosts of their past that no one reads anymore. With both NAILS and NAILPRO under 100 pages and only surviving because Danny Hale has a sweetheart deal to advertise 10 pages monthly. Besides, innovation in the nail business mimics the rest of the industry and no wonder publications such as MODERN and AMERICAN are so thin you wonder why they even publish.
TNG: What can I say, 33 years and still going strong. Our brands are now #1 in most categories and in 2019 alone, we are introducing more than 200 new products. Innovation remains key and my next blog will talk about some of my favorite new products. EMMA continues to delight and is now one of the top brands on Instagram. Thebeautybook Spring 2019 catalog is one of my favorites and an integral part of what makes THE INDUSTRY SOURCE the best-in-class pro beauty distributor year-after-year.
Thank you for hanging around all these years. The beauty of all this is that beauty truly is timeless and I could not be luckier to be involved in this consumer category. Beauty will continue to evolve and so will TNG.
Happy New Year!
Wow, what a Thanksgiving weekend. Two sons, their wives, three grandkids made for an eventful time indeed. What memories forget or don’t include: Countless water bottles, some with two sips, some half-empty and some empty, none put in the garbage can; coffee cups some half-full, some empty, scattered wherever; empty toilet paper rolls and Kleenex boxes; laundry machine non-stop; empty bourbon bottles that magically emptied; toys everywhere, most used once; and let’s not even talk about the fridge. Worse culprits: Not the grandkids, but the adults!
We also decided this was the end of turkey, stuffing and veggies no one wants to eat. Friday and Saturday no one wanted leftovers and by the time we got to them on Sunday, neither did we. Oh well, a new tradition will start in 2019.
Sorry but it’s tough to be a state of MI sports fan. The Lions proved inept against the Bears and the Wolverines were embarrassed playing the BIG GAME. Worst loss in Wolverine’s history against OSU. Spartans barely won but I was rooting for Rutgers. Going downtown for the worthless and useless bowl game is so much closer. As they say, at least there is basketball. . . .
Conde Nast, publisher of many magazines including Allure, Vogue and Vanity Fair decided to stop publishing Glamour and keep it online only. Glamour was a top 5 magazine back in the day. Millennial’s, X, Y, and Z’s no longer look to magazines to make their beauty decisions, it’s all about Instagram.
CND’s Vinylux is the latest pro brand to go retail. Huge in-line displays at CVS and other retailers.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday and iPhones. What do they all have in common? Give 25%, 50% and even 75% discounts, and consumers will buy now versus later. Apple recently announced its worst sales of its flagship product in history and only through huge incentives can they move their new XR models. I was at Dick’s on Friday, the entire store was 25% off. They had customers but even at 25% off, it wasn’t a big deal. The other thing is, what happens when you go to mall and don’t find anything to buy? This increasing phenomenon is very scary as the generations I mentioned earlier are more interested in experiences than products. And what is one of the most popular Christmas songs ever? “All I want for Christmas is you.”
Coty has a new CEO and Sennen Pamich, formerly of Revlon, is now an executive. Coty hasn’t made money in more than two years, has $7B in debt and it’s stock is at an all-time low. Can Coty be turned around as P&G unloaded an overpriced asset or will the Clairol/Wella deal prove to be too much?
GM is closing 5-7 factories and laying off more than 6,000 workers; Ford stopped making sedans; Nissan CEO accused of tax fraud in Japan and is in jail. Carlos Ghosn is out at Nissan, Mitsubishi and pending fate at Renault. This while Jeep unveils its first pickup truck since 1992.
Can someone tell me this: What happens when everything is delivered to your home or business within two hours? You know that is the way the world is going. Target is advertising same day delivery paying a fortune to use their stores as warehouses. Amazon already offers this service in many urban areas. But think about this, if the surviving retailers all offer free shipping and two hour service, what will the differentiators become?
Another birthday, another year coming up. This year I’m going to celebrate big time and stay up until 10:00PM both Friday and Saturday night! The festivities start Friday with Starbuck’s morning for all TNG talent and then a fab lunch at our corporate headquarters. Saturday the dreadful drive to East Lansing to see the Spartans play Purdue which just clobbered the Buckeyes. After last weeks disastrous loss to the Wolverines along with exiting the stadium for an hour only to endure rain, sleet and wind, is it any wonder Spartan Nation is hurting? Coach Dantonio, how about a V this week and next for my birthday?
My birthday continues on Sunday when I do not have to make brunch or dinner, sorry BUB! And then the real fun is Tuesday when we go to see Stevie Nicks at LCA. Now let me tell you, seeing a concert on a Tuesday night is a big deal especially when I go to sleep at 8:30PM and that is when the music starts playing. Like I said, this is celebrating at the highest level!
Remember back when you had a birthday, you would open the mail box and there would be 10, perhaps even 20 birthday cards with your name on them? These days, kids under 35 only know your cell number for texting, addresses are long gone. At least I know I can count on MGM sending me a $5 Free Play birthday gift. HA!
Here are a few birthday gifts I would really like to see:
- Hotels eliminating those tiny 1 oz. bottles. It’s impossible to read which one is shampoo or body wash.
- OPI shipping an order at least 80% complete and without damages
- The Spartans winning a football game (oops, I already mentioned that)
- Bill Knapp’s chocolate cake
- Carter stopping by Sunday (C is my 6 1/2 year old grandson)
- Max inviting us to fly in his private jet and stay in his new Palisades Park beach house (the joys of selling a company for $175 million, wait, it goes up $25 million each year!) stocked with great red wine and single malts.
- Tony Cuccio running a 5K
- John Barth retiring and writing a book “How to be rep and live the good life without working”
- Elimination of passwords with 8 letters, upper case, lower case, number and !@$# character.
TNG did it again and was the #1 sponsor for American Cancer Society Strides event in Detroit. We raised more than $130,000 and dominated the field. Sorry Kroger, Suburban Collection and Comerica, you need to step up your game!
I have never seen so much Halloween candy at stores as this year. And who eats candy anymore?
What’s better than Costco’s rotisserie chickens? $4.99 and they are huge, tasty and juicy. Costco sells so many of them, they are now building their own chicken farm that will supply at least 25% of their annual needs. Guess how many they sell a year? You weren’t even close, more than 60 million. They lose about $.75 on everyone they sell which has fed their sales and profit growth over the years. Love that.
I was thinking back to when I was in high school. There was only 10th, 11th and 12th grades. Took the bus, although there was a student parking lot. Just walked through the doors, no guards, no metal detectors, no I.D.’s. Hostess baked goods were $.12 and the pies were $.15. School lunch was $.25 and milk was included. We could drink as much soda as we wanted. There were plenty of cliques, none of which I was part of. I did play poker and learn magic tricks. There is nothing in my yearbook about boofing and I cannot remember if I got a couple of girls I had a crush on to sign it. Instead of going to Friday night football games, I went to the arcade and played King Kool and Jack in the Box. My indulgence was a pre-made sub and ice cold Mountain Dew while racking up free games.
I was thinking back to when I was in college. I remember one semester cost $950 and the food in the dorm wasn’t bad so I stayed in the dorms all four years (Wilson and Wonders at MSU). Those were the days of LSD, free-flowing and students tripping. My RA had a good old time, personally, never tried it. Amazing what one little spec of something can do to your body. It was also the time of grass, joints, water bongs, roach clips: All allowed in the dorms, just open the window please. Here indulgence was part of the curriculum. Bean bag chairs, black light posters and lofts were the norm. LP’s were $3.99 and how could anyone pass up Frampton, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Journey, ELO and so many others? I amassed more than 400 and still have most of them. It was also the time Domino’s started and whole pepperoni pizzas at midnight made a nice snack (double cheese please). Dooley’s was the main bar and pitchers were a buck and mixed drinks half that on Friday’s. Oh, legal drinking was 18 back then. I did have a friend, Jeff S. who loved to burp and could actually sing a song burping. Campus showed the first porn movies, “Behind the Green Door” and “Deep Throat.” But back then, the most extreme activity we did was streaking.
Fast forward to today and you have to give Domino’s credit, they are perhaps the most successful pizza chain in the world. Grass is more popular on campus than ever before. Rock and rollers are making more money touring than when they were in their prime. Alas, pinball has faded but let me tell you, is destined for a comeback!
So what about sex back then you may ask? And I may answer back to you, “Well, what about it?” Do you think my stories are any different than your stories? You went to high school to get a diploma, wear a cap & gown, and have a party. You went to college for the same reason. But now, the country and perhaps much of the world is riveted on the events of last week and how they will play out. Will students ever be the same moving forward? Back then we had no phones, no video cameras, heck, a calculator cost more than $100 and did nothing more than basic math. We were naïve. And truth is, weren’t we supposed to be?
If you are still reading this blog, you know I’m a business guy, not a politician, not a lawyer, and certainly not a government employee. When I started TNG, our employee manual was one sheet of paper. Today it is a binder. I get it, there are laws and rules for a reason: That is what makes a democracy work.
My biggest concern right now? Certainly not the FBI investigation and if Kavanaugh makes it to the Supreme Court. It’s the tariffs. Last week half the goods from China were taxed 10% on top of tariffs already in place. Already many vendors have increased their prices by 10%. Companies are scrambling to decide what to do with prices as we are, and yet, the true uncertainty is what happens this January when Trump has threatened to take the entire lot to 10% and even 25% if China retaliates. You have already seen how tariffs have affected the automakers, but like everything else these days, winners and losers are more apparent than ever before.
Bottom line: I can only focus on what I do best. MSU hasn’t won a national championship since 1966 and that drives me crazy but there is nothing I can do about it. When it comes to running a business, focus is more important than ever and while the curve balls keep on coming, you can act like the Detroit Tigers or the Boston Red Sox. Sorry Tigers, you lost 98 games and Boston won 108 games. Winning matters.