Between breakfast meetings at the Four Seasons, distributor meetings at The Hotel and Mandalay Bay, onsite meetings at the convention center and dinners at night, it was non-stop movement at Mandalay Bay for those lucky enough to endure yet another Cosmoprof. With more meetings off the show floor than in the history of the show, you would think the show organizers would make the show floor more affordable and bring everyone together. But not this group, they would rather have everyone suffer and pay the consequences.
The show floor itself was 75% nail, 15% hair and 10% everything else. Included in the mix was mostly Asian and European companies trying to get a foothold in the USA market along with the typical die hard USA companies such as Helen of Troy, Conair, Spilo and Tweezerman. There are now more nail gel companies than Starbucks has coffee combinations. One booth featured more than 300 colors. Another claimed 1000 colors. There was also no shortage of pedicure spas with each company offering virtually the same units.
The onsite meeting rooms were very scarce as well this year. L’Oreal was nowhere to be found and even TIGI opted off the floor as did Essie and so many others. In one very small secluded section one could find OPI, CND, Keratin Complex and Moroccanoil (which was perfect for me).
George and Bill were very proud showing off their new LED light made in the USA and made of heavy steel. The $399 light will be tightly allocated in 2011 and features quick curing and the ability to do both hands and feet. Looks like the first shipment of Gel Color will arrive late September but even that will be allocated until 2012.
CND was very happy as they shipped their 6 latest shades of Shellac (we have in stock!) and continue to expand the marketing reach of the brand. It will be interesting when CND meets OPI in 2012, sort of reminds me of the Wild, Wild West.
Moroccanoil spared no budget as they offered up lunch each day and imported chocolates from Israel with the MO logo. They also featured an event at MIX on Monday night, no doubt the biggest spender at the show this year.
I bumped into many people along the way, some of which I haven’t seen in a while. There was Bob Furstenberg still loving Oakland and fried chicken. There was Simon (ex-L’Oreal and TIGI) traveling from London representing ghd as they make their USA push. There was Paul Sharnsky, a.k.a. the distributor hanging out with anyone he could latch onto and enjoying an adult beverage at the MO party. There was Jeph Wright (ex Kemon coach) taking yet another cigarette and cocktail break with a fellow stylist at 7:15AM. There was Bo of Wahl playing Texas Hold Em’ and enjoying himself. There was Tony Cuccio (enough said). There was Michael and Zoya Reyzis dining at the Four Seasons (very nice people but did they have to have Leo?). There was MIke Asher flying first class as usual on DELTA also having breakfast at the Four Seasons with Tom Fowler, now of A.I.I. fame. Mike is another nice guy just not sure what his role is these days.
For me, the highlight of the show was meeting with distributors and seeing their faces when they saw the new black 15in1 products, Ginger Lily Farms Botanicals and new PR campaign for Kemon NaYo and Actyva Care. What is very refreshing and positive for our industry is that while a few global giants control the lion’s share, there are still plenty of good guys out there that are independent, like to have fun and want the latest and greatest. As one of them said to me, perhaps we should have our own Cosmoprof and forget all this BS we have to endure. Hmmm, sounds like a good idea to me.
July 4 weekend has come and gone. Now it’s back to work and time to focus on the second half of 2011. Why? Before you know it, we’ll be thinking about candy canes and 2012.
For us, we are ready for a great second half. Both thebeautybook Fall edition and The Industry Source July/August magazine are done and look awesome. Some of the other things I am most excited about include:
- CND Shellac 6 new shades coming this September
- OPI Gel Polish coming late Fall
- NaYo Healthy Hair for a Healthy Body campaign. Already, NaYo is gaining traction is the USA’s best salons as they all crave it’s no ammonia, no PPD and no odor high lifting formula.
- Updated kemonusa.com website
- Enhanced supplier-buyer software to increase order efficiency, enhance delivery dates and increase our fill rate of 99.1%.
- New TEXAS store openings
- black 15in1 new product launch this October, truly one of the most exciting launches ever
- Ginger Lily Farms Botanicals launch this October. This one will be a homerun for salons looking to capture the magic Graham Webb once had with its Back to Basics line
- Launching Coverderm in the USA- this is by far the best camouflage makeup line I have ever seen
- Believe it or not, little square white and orange buffing blocks that you tear off. Cost about a nickel and are disposable for each client. This is very cool.
The economy should grow about 3% in the second half boding well for employment. It sure would be nice to see the unemployment rate get closer to 8% than 9%. And it sure would be nice to see housing finally moving back in the right direction. For salons and spas, those that survived the downturn should be in good shape and need to continue to tweak their brands, pricing and services offered. Retailers and service establishments are raising prices-salons and spas need to do the same. And brands are more important than ever with the continued success of ULTA and amazon.com, brands that differentiate and not available everywhere will dominate.
On the personal side, exercise, healthy eating, and sleep still remain the keys to success. New warning photos on cigarette packs will help smokers quit but we need to take more responsibility for our own actions. And this will mean we will pay more to indulge. Already companies have quit hiring smokers or have increased premiums (we charge smokers more), but more increases will be on the way for many more categories. It’s motivating to see people take up running, weight lifting and other physical activities. It’s summer, now is the perfect time to at least start walking.
Yes, the second half is encouraging and there are no elections to deal with. 2012 will be a whole new game but until then, let’s make the best of the second half of 2011.