ULTA Crushes Premier Orlando Show

ULTA Crushes Premier Orlando Show

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The professional beauty industry’s best trade show for salons is the Premier Beauty Show in Orlando. It is well organized, conveniently located in the Orange County Convention Center (the size of a small city) and they spend money on their main stage productions. We were excited to exhibit and launch the black 15in1 trade show booth. The bad news is they gave us the worse booth location in the show (the bathrooms would have been better). The good news is that those that found us loved us.

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Main stage differed this year than all other years as CND was the first nail company in the history of the Premier show to have a slot. Jan Arnold was sensational and brought along The Blondies (huge designers) that did all the model’s outfits. The 40 minutes presentation was amazing and we will get to see some of this live at Beauty Buzz coming up October 7 at the Motor City Casino Hotel Soundboard Lounge.

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Yes, Jan even had a guy wearing Shellac nails. Every outfit was designed around the nails. You have to see it to believe it. Plus they had two nail artists live on stage doing Shellac nail art, also very cool.

But even with all this, the show lacked its typical excitement. Attendance was down both days, however, most interesting was that none of the P&G brands were present. It’s like both P&G and L’Oreal are making a stand which trade shows they participate and support. So Wella, Nioxin, Sebastian and others were all missing. And even though L’Oreal was present, their booth space was not commanding as in years past. In fact, Redken didn’t even bring open stock items to the show. And as always, it is very difficult to compete with the flea markets throughout the show. Attendees waited in lines more than an hour just to get into the $1 bin areas.

While the Premier show was going on and remember, this is the best show of the year, ULTA announces its quarterly results. Same store sales up more than 10% and its stock zooms up nearly $10 a share to reach an all-time high. And what brands does ULTA sell? You can name them all (or pretty much all, they still don’t have Kerastase, Oribe, Moroccan Oil or even black 15in1). And while hairdressers are looking for bargains at the Premier show, consumers don’t have to pay $10 for parking, walk a mile to get into the show in 90+ degree heat, deal with suitcases and crowds or pay $40 to get in. They just need to walk into an ULTA store and get virtually every pro brand at huge discounts. Take a look at their latest offering:

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Over 35 brands. Take TIGI BED HEAD Hard Head spray for example. Salon retail is $18. Salon pays $9. ULTA pays around $4.50 and receives added discounts. Consumer buys 2 at $18 each for $36 and gets one free. That comes out to $12 a can. If the salon does that, they make $3 a can. They have to pay 10% commission on the $12 or $1.20 so their net profit is $1.80 a can. ULTA on the other hand makes $7.50 per can. It’s no wonder ULTA sales and profits are skyrocketing, who can compete?

The real industry trade show is now at ULTA’s 430+ stores and takes place daily, not on one selected weekend a year. Things are changing or shall I say, things have changed. No one does retail beauty better than ULTA. Now let’s get back to the business of the hairdresser and the future of salons. Let’s hope the Premier show can lead by example. Oh, a better booth location would be great too!

Happy Tuesday!

CND (aka Jan Arnold) Does NY Fashion Week 2012

CND (aka Jan Arnold) Does NY Fashion Week 2012

No where is fashion more prevalent in the USA than New York. And no one in our industry is more attached to NY Fashion Week than Jan Arnold.

While her father invented Solar Nails and her brother Jim managed the growth of the company, Jan was always “out there” on the cusp. Jan never bowed to what others wore in clothing, shoes or makeup. Rather Jan has always been a walking billboard of individuality, healthy living, shopping and how can we not mention. . .nails.

So it was no surprise when Jan and Jim sold their company to Colomer, that Jan wanted to stay on as their “fashion advisor.” Truthfully, I don’t know Jan’s title but when it comes to nail creations, no one does it like her. John Heffner, Jan’s just retired boss even introduced a polish line to satisfy Jan’s intense creative (how do you like use of that word!) needs, Colour & Effects. Truly artistic people use these products religiously. But fame and notoriety didn’t come from this and that didn’t stop Jan’s fashion parade for a second. She was doing NY Fashion Week before it was even a week long.

Jan’s true talents and perhaps one of her top highlights of her career came with the launch of Shellac and the totally unexpected media coverage the line received. Jan as flamboyant as can be (who else can get away with bleached white hair, 6” heel patent boots and a dress you don’t find at Barney’s on any given day) became a sensation and came into the limelight naturally. Shellac was not only revolutionary but it gave Jan creative freedom to explore design like never before. Even though Shellac launched in only 12 colors, Jan figured out a way to “layer” colors to create many more custom colors and with the launch of the next 12 shades, figured out a way to perfect nail art using Shellac exclusively.

The results are impressive but if you talk to Jan, she hasn’t changed one bit. She loves what she does and always has. Who else can do a daily blog at NY Fashion Week complete with photos and commentary AND be backstage for hours on end? Here are some of my favorite pics posted, please visit http://cndfashionweek.com/Spring2012/category/day-1/ to see her entire post:

Day 2

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If anything, Jan has brought nails into the fashion scene and onto the runways. While the focus is still on legs, breasts, and hair, at least nails are big enough for designers to take notice. And if sales of Shellac are any indication of fashion success, then we can only imagine than Jan will be doing what Jan does best for a very long time.

Happy Tuesday!

Out Of My Mind On A Friday Mornin’

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Oh, oh. Don’t look now but the economy is on a very dangerous edge with the teeter-totter ready to go the wrong way. Unemployment is back to 9.1% and only 54,000 new jobs were created in May. As former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan pointed out, “This is the first recovery from a recession ever without construction leading the way.” Not a good omen.

Home prices are the lowest in 2002. How long is this foreclosure issue going to haunt us?

Out of nowhere, gas went up $.30 a gallon in Michigan. Why? Because they could. The lame excuse of some pipeline being shut down was the culprit. Just another reason how fragile everything is.

The U-M vs. OSU rivalry will never be the same. With corruption and cheating in sports, politics, religion and business, is anything sacred anymore?

OK, enough of all the pessimism. Time to be optimistic! The sun is shining, 74 lovely degrees today and Kid Rock is playing Comerica August 12 (and most likely August 13 too).

Another way to escape pessimism is to run to the movies. My kids and virtually everyone else saw Hangover 2 last weekend. Problem is paybacks are a bitch.

Tell me it isn’t true. Colomer Group, owned by private equity group CVC Capital Partners, is up for sale. Personally I would love to buy it but am short a $1 Billion or so. Among the brands Colomer owns is CND and American Crew. Here’s an idea, George can buy it and hire Max and Essie to run it.

I got the very first glimpse of OPI gel color and wow, this is going to be exciting. Launch won’t be until late fall but we will start taking orders July 1.

What is the perfect shower temperature? The BUB has her shower at least 10 degrees warmer than I like. And how long do you stand with your hand feeling for the perfect temperature before you dive in?

I know I mentioned this before, but what did we do before Greek yogurt? It proves that something new can literally change our habits and preferences overnight.

I’m thinking pizza this weekend. Thin crust, burnt edges, simple toppings. YUM!

Why do we open doors for women?

Borders will be done in a month. Hard to believe another Michigan-based retailer gone. Ouch.

How many pre-order copies of Kwame’s book did you order? With him getting out of prison early, he might even sign your copy.

And Dr. Jack has died. I wonder if it was suicide.

Happy Friday!

Out Of My Mind On A Friday Mornin’

Do you prefer to eat outside if the weather is good?

View Results

Oh, oh. Don’t look now but the economy is on a very dangerous edge with the teeter-totter ready to go the wrong way. Unemployment is back to 9.1% and only 54,000 new jobs were created in May. As former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan pointed out, “This is the first recovery from a recession ever without construction leading the way.” Not a good omen.

Home prices are the lowest in 2002. How long is this foreclosure issue going to haunt us?

Out of nowhere, gas went up $.30 a gallon in Michigan. Why? Because they could. The lame excuse of some pipeline being shut down was the culprit. Just another reason how fragile everything is.

The U-M vs. OSU rivalry will never be the same. With corruption and cheating in sports, politics, religion and business, is anything sacred anymore?

OK, enough of all the pessimism. Time to be optimistic! The sun is shining, 74 lovely degrees today and Kid Rock is playing Comerica August 12 (and most likely August 13 too).

Another way to escape pessimism is to run to the movies. My kids and virtually everyone else saw Hangover 2 last weekend. Problem is paybacks are a bitch.

Tell me it isn’t true. Colomer Group, owned by private equity group CVC Capital Partners, is up for sale. Personally I would love to buy it but am short a $1 Billion or so. Among the brands Colomer owns is CND and American Crew. Here’s an idea, George can buy it and hire Max and Essie to run it.

I got the very first glimpse of OPI gel color and wow, this is going to be exciting. Launch won’t be until late fall but we will start taking orders July 1.

What is the perfect shower temperature? The BUB has her shower at least 10 degrees warmer than I like. And how long do you stand with your hand feeling for the perfect temperature before you dive in?

I know I mentioned this before, but what did we do before Greek yogurt? It proves that something new can literally change our habits and preferences overnight.

I’m thinking pizza this weekend. Thin crust, burnt edges, simple toppings. YUM!

Why do we open doors for women?

Borders will be done in a month. Hard to believe another Michigan-based retailer gone. Ouch.

How many pre-order copies of Kwame’s book did you order? With him getting out of prison early, he might even sign your copy.

And Dr. Jack has died. I wonder if it was suicide.

Happy Friday!

ULTA’s Signature Brands

 

Welcome to Mardi’s Gras or Fat Tuesday. It’s also the day of eating 500 calorie fat bombs known in the Polish community as Paczki’s.

Recently I strolled through ULTA to see what their latest signature brands were. As I walked through the store (there was one other customer), I noticed that a good 25% of the items  were out of stock. ULTA is no Sephora when it comes to merchandising.

Pro hair care represented more than half the store which makes ULTA the biggest threat to salons. Their signature brands were all L’Oreal especially REDKEN and MATRIX adorned on the back wall. They had more hair dryers and flat irons than some of the manufacturers we buy from. Signature brands were Helen of Troy and Revlon.

OPI was certainly the signature brand when it came to nail care. The Hong Kong collection was displayed at the entrance and at the polish section. OPI itself was larger than all the other nail brands combined. Essie had many colors available but  mostly out of stock. CND color was not sold but their treatments were.

Skin care was a hodge podge and they are certainly weak in this area. DDF and Dermologica was the signature brands but neither stood out well. Make up also seems to be a work in process but certainly Bare Essentual’s was their signature brand.

Most surprising was their private label. In all categories, it was scattered and not well stocked or merchandised. I wonder what percent of their business is in this category.

Oddly, they are also carry many Target and Wal-Mart beauty brands and these too are not well stocked. What is odd is that prestige brands have allowed themselves to be sold with mass brands. Perhaps desperate times call for desperate measures but long term, I wonder.

No doubt women walking into ULTA are looking for salon wet goods, nail color and appliances. This is where they shine. Salons have the ability to compete by offering bi-monthly deals and having a nice, tight retail area. ULTA pricing on open stock items is the same as salons so salons can’t complain in that area. The complaint is the constant promotions ULTA offers. We offer plenty of the same promotions ULTA does so the resources are available.

ULTA is a work in progress. More importantly, ULTA is a wake up call to our industry. It’s time that we respond.

Happy Tuesday!

ULTA’s Signature Brands

 

Welcome to Mardi’s Gras or Fat Tuesday. It’s also the day of eating 500 calorie fat bombs known in the Polish community as Paczki’s.

Recently I strolled through ULTA to see what their latest signature brands were. As I walked through the store (there was one other customer), I noticed that a good 25% of the items  were out of stock. ULTA is no Sephora when it comes to merchandising.

Pro hair care represented more than half the store which makes ULTA the biggest threat to salons. Their signature brands were all L’Oreal especially REDKEN and MATRIX adorned on the back wall. They had more hair dryers and flat irons than some of the manufacturers we buy from. Signature brands were Helen of Troy and Revlon.

OPI was certainly the signature brand when it came to nail care. The Hong Kong collection was displayed at the entrance and at the polish section. OPI itself was larger than all the other nail brands combined. Essie had many colors available but  mostly out of stock. CND color was not sold but their treatments were.

Skin care was a hodge podge and they are certainly weak in this area. DDF and Dermologica was the signature brands but neither stood out well. Make up also seems to be a work in process but certainly Bare Essentual’s was their signature brand.

Most surprising was their private label. In all categories, it was scattered and not well stocked or merchandised. I wonder what percent of their business is in this category.

Oddly, they are also carry many Target and Wal-Mart beauty brands and these too are not well stocked. What is odd is that prestige brands have allowed themselves to be sold with mass brands. Perhaps desperate times call for desperate measures but long term, I wonder.

No doubt women walking into ULTA are looking for salon wet goods, nail color and appliances. This is where they shine. Salons have the ability to compete by offering bi-monthly deals and having a nice, tight retail area. ULTA pricing on open stock items is the same as salons so salons can’t complain in that area. The complaint is the constant promotions ULTA offers. We offer plenty of the same promotions ULTA does so the resources are available.

ULTA is a work in progress. More importantly, ULTA is a wake up call to our industry. It’s time that we respond.

Happy Tuesday!