Out Of My Mind On a Friday Mornin’

Out Of My Mind On a Friday Mornin’

Are you concerned with the Ukraine situation?

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Leave it to the masters at L’Oreal to once again disrupt the market with yet another innovative product and this time, it spells more bad news for the pro salon industry. What is most interesting is that L’Oreal has a pretty big stake in the pro industry with its MATRIX, Redken, L’Oreal Professionnel, Pureology, Kerastase and other brands. Their newest product, Preference Mousse Absolue took more than 10 years to develop and it is the first hair color that mixes the color with the developer. The specially designed can does the work and the color comes out like a mousse. More amazing, the color leftover can be stored in the can for up to a year for touch-ups and even a second color. It sells for $14.99 at all mass retailers and available in 16 shades. This is a true game-changer and I see this technology being used in the pro industry for booth renters who don’t have a lot of storage area and hate mixing color.

 

Because You’re Worth It: L’Oréal Paris Offers New Instant Hair Color Activation

Loxabeauty.com is alive and well. So just for s___s and giggles, I reviewed three best-selling items from the site and then compared pricing to Amazon.com. In all instances, Amazon was a minimum 30% lower. But wait, loxabeauty.com customers pay shipping and sales tax. So the savings are more than 40%. And supposedly Salon Centric is going to come out with own their site to compete? Ulta is laughing all the way to the bank as most of the vendors who sell Sally Beauty Holdings also sell to Ulta.

Do you remember the early McDonald’s commercials in which they advertised fountain Coke with their cheeseburger? Back in the day, everything went well with a Coke. Fast forward to 2014 and what goes best with a Coke? A bottle of OPI nail lacquer. Coke and OPI partnered up to introduce a special collection. The signature color is Coca-Cola Red (#613228). Look for the collection in June and we start taking orders May 1 (18-pc collections $79.95, #613224).

Isn’t it amazing how when gas was $3.00 a gallon, media was all over it and consumers were incensed. Now with gas at $4.00 a gallon, you don’t hear a peep. That is how we get conditioned to higher prices.

Speaking of higher prices, those famous Chipolte burritos will be 4% higher. First increase in 3 years. The California drought is getting so bad, prices on many veggies are going up and up.

Is Spring and warm weather ever going to come?

The Ukraine Minister today in USA Today came out and stated that Russia wants to start World War III.  If you read your history books on previous World War’s, you know the world is not ready, nor will ever be ready for another one. Is there ever going to be a time in which we can all live without war?

What’s worse than being behind a slow driver and then finally getting the opportunity to pass the driver and look over and see the driver is either on the phone or eating something?

Happy Friday!

Out Of My Mind On a Friday Mornin’

Out Of My Mind On a Friday Mornin’

Are you concerned with the Ukraine situation?

View Results

Leave it to the masters at L’Oreal to once again disrupt the market with yet another innovative product and this time, it spells more bad news for the pro salon industry. What is most interesting is that L’Oreal has a pretty big stake in the pro industry with its MATRIX, Redken, L’Oreal Professionnel, Pureology, Kerastase and other brands. Their newest product, Preference Mousse Absolue took more than 10 years to develop and it is the first hair color that mixes the color with the developer. The specially designed can does the work and the color comes out like a mousse. More amazing, the color leftover can be stored in the can for up to a year for touch-ups and even a second color. It sells for $14.99 at all mass retailers and available in 16 shades. This is a true game-changer and I see this technology being used in the pro industry for booth renters who don’t have a lot of storage area and hate mixing color.

 

Because You’re Worth It: L’Oréal Paris Offers New Instant Hair Color Activation

Loxabeauty.com is alive and well. So just for s___s and giggles, I reviewed three best-selling items from the site and then compared pricing to Amazon.com. In all instances, Amazon was a minimum 30% lower. But wait, loxabeauty.com customers pay shipping and sales tax. So the savings are more than 40%. And supposedly Salon Centric is going to come out with own their site to compete? Ulta is laughing all the way to the bank as most of the vendors who sell Sally Beauty Holdings also sell to Ulta.

Do you remember the early McDonald’s commercials in which they advertised fountain Coke with their cheeseburger? Back in the day, everything went well with a Coke. Fast forward to 2014 and what goes best with a Coke? A bottle of OPI nail lacquer. Coke and OPI partnered up to introduce a special collection. The signature color is Coca-Cola Red (#613228). Look for the collection in June and we start taking orders May 1 (18-pc collections $79.95, #613224).

Isn’t it amazing how when gas was $3.00 a gallon, media was all over it and consumers were incensed. Now with gas at $4.00 a gallon, you don’t hear a peep. That is how we get conditioned to higher prices.

Speaking of higher prices, those famous Chipolte burritos will be 4% higher. First increase in 3 years. The California drought is getting so bad, prices on many veggies are going up and up.

Is Spring and warm weather ever going to come?

The Ukraine Minister today in USA Today came out and stated that Russia wants to start World War III.  If you read your history books on previous World War’s, you know the world is not ready, nor will ever be ready for another one. Is there ever going to be a time in which we can all live without war?

What’s worse than being behind a slow driver and then finally getting the opportunity to pass the driver and look over and see the driver is either on the phone or eating something?

Happy Friday!

The Future Of The Hair Salon Business

[Reader’s Note: This is a continuation from the previous blog entry]

THIS JUST IN: Click here to see all the brands and products available on luxabeauty.com.

Loxabeauty.com is live. Truth of the matter is that it is DOA already. The video is a joke and makes salon owners and hairdressers feel totally inept. Joico, a subsidiary of Shiseido of Japan, is in full support. Why? Amazon.com has its own Joico store and most everything is 30% off EVERYDAY and FREE SHIPPING. It’s just another deflection of what truly is going on: Salon products are consumer products and hence sold everywhere by virtually everyone. Once again some of the manufacturers are trying to show their loyalty to the salon industry even as they ship truckloads to retailers each and every day. With the site more than 90% hair, hairdressers will have to decide which brands to use behind the chair. Most interesting since Salon Centric is owned by L’Oreal and a competitor to SBH (although they sell BSG the MATRIX brand), there is not a single L’Oreal brand on luxabeauty.com.

With the industry more than 90% booth rental, what is the future of the hair salon business? No one has a crystal ball, and most certainly not me. But my best guess is something like this: Back to the pre-1980’s days.

Think about independent service establishments for a moment and which ones over the years have persevered and succeeded? Dry cleaners. Shoe repair. Tailors. Fitness centers. Restaurants. There are a few more but let’s look at these.

Each of these establishments is owned by someone that has a skillset that is not easily copied by the average consumer. Dry cleaners artfully clean and press clothes. Shoe repair guys know how to replace insoles. Tailors can take in and take out just about any clothing article. Fitness centers offers specialized trainers and equipment. Chefs specialize in hundreds of cuisines. The other common trait in these businesses is that they do not retail. Dry cleaners do not sell clothes. Shoe repairs do not sell shoes. Tailors do not sell formal wear. Fitness centers do not sell running shoes or yoga pants. Restaurants do not sell steaks or bell peppers.

The folks at SBH have basically waved the white flag and made the statement that hair salons can offer services but cannot retail products. With that supposition in mind, the future of hair salons is service only. Long before the Paul Mitchell’s, Arnie Miller’s and Jheri Redding’s of the industry showed up, there was no retail in beauty shops. It was pure services. Hairdressers love to cut. Or they love to color. Or they love to do both. Their skillset is hair, not sales. 

The hair salon of the future will not sell anything but services. Ah, but there is a kicker. The successful hair salon of the future will include at-home products but make them part of the service fee. Smart marketers will offer products in special sizes for hairdressers to use for the service and then for the hairdresser to give to their client after the service is completed. This will solve many issues for both hairdressers and marketers.

The Current Process

Client comes into the salon for appointment. Client goes to the wash bowl and gets hair washed. The typical backbar has 10-20 shampoos and conditioners. Does the client even know which one is being used? No. Afterwards, the client goes to the stylist station for the cut and style. The typical station has 20 or more products and the hairdresser may use up to 6 of those on the client. Is the client going to buy all the products the hairdresser uses? No. Is there any way the client can make hair look as good at home? No. Does the hairdresser care if the client buys products? No. The client is still happy with the service. But for products, they are bought at a convenient store or Amazon.com from their smartphone and delivered in less than 48 hours.

The New Process

Client comes into the salon (no appointment necessary is best approach but all hairdressers must have equal skillsets). Client goes to the wash bowl and gets hair washed. Hairdresser recommends shampoo and conditioner to the client, shows the special sized bottles, uses on hair and then gives both bottles to the client. Afterwards, the client goes to the stylist station for the cut and style. Hairdresser recommends products to use. Each specially sized product used has an added fee so the more products, the more the service costs (same as a restaurant, everything ordered is a la carte pricing). The hairdresser uses the products and gives the products to the client to take home. Now the client is assured that they are using the same products at home as at the salon.

Win-Win

In the new process, the hairdresser and client both win. The hairdresser is happy because the client is using the products recommended to use at home; made money on the products without actually retailing them, and has no waste to deal with. The client is happy because she now has the products to use at home and if she likes them when running out, can buy with confidence from any retailer that sells the brands.

Whoaaaa!!! If this really is the future, what is going to happen to all those retail products salons have on their shelves? The better question to ask is does the salon industry really need 8 oz., 16 oz, 32 oz, and gallon sizes of the same item? Does one manufacturer really need to offer 8-10 variations of shampoo and conditioner? The future is back to simplicity, client convenience and superior service.

Want validation? The nail salon model now commands more than 80% of the nail business. No appointment necessary. No retail. And what about the products you ask? They have the system down that their clients must come in weekly or bi-weekly so products are not needed. And touch-ups are free in case of the occasional chip.

Now if we could get women into hair salons with the same frequency, that would be another conversation certainly worth entertaining (bi-weekly color touch-ups so hair never goes gray).

Whatever the future is, one thing is for certain: Change is constant. And for all those one million plus hairdressers in the USA, now is as good of a time as any to think about their future.

Happy Tuesday!

Lots Of Luck With Loxabeauty.com

What are your thoughts on the economy in 2014?

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Desperate times call for desperate measures. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the professional hair product business is dead in the water. Even L’Oreal masters of the universe with their Kerastase brand among others just reported negative growth in the USA. Regis the largest operator of salons in the USA continues to report declining retail sales numbers. TIGI resorted to selling an off-label to Sally. It’s no secret either that Ulta continues to enjoy healthy growth in its business (albeit they sell a whole bunch more than hair care products). Ulta’s arch enemy, Sally Beauty Holdings (SBH), thinks it has the answer to Ulta: Loxabeauty.com.

According to SBH’s CEO Gary Winterhalter, loxabeauty will be BSG’s (they own more than 1000 Cosmoprof stores and employ nearly as many DSC’s) solution to helping salons compete against Ulta and retailers. The premise which has yet to be unveiled goes something like this: BSG gets sign-off from its major vendors to sell goods to consumers. Winterhalter already has Paul Mitchell, Kenra and a host of others lined up. The BSG DSC goes into a salon and most likely has the salon owner complete an application for the website including stylists names, name of salon and other vital facts.

The client goes into a salon, gets the service wanted and then the front desk manager gives the client a business card or such and the pitch, “We can offer you more than 3000 salon products and have them shipped directly to your front door. Just go to loxabeauty.com and enter this code on the card (the code is the salon code). All products will be shipped to you from our supplier and we endorse everything.” If the client goes home and makes a purchase, both the salon and stylist will receive commission.

For the salon owner, no more inventory to stock and a full assortment of products for their clients. Win-win, right? At least that is what Winterhalter thinks.

In the real world, Amazon has more than 10,000 salon products available at discount prices with free 2-day shipping to its Prime customers. And customers can buy any brand including brands BSG doesn’t sell such as Kerastase, Oribe, Bumble and Bumble and virtually every brand under the sun. And there are hundreds of other sites to buy beauty products. But alas, BSG is more concerned with Ulta than anyone else and Ulta cannot sell pro hair care products online (yet).

The other thing wrong here is that virtually every mass retailer has a full selection of pro beauty products. CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid alone have more than 20,000 stores crammed with pro beauty. And they have virtually every brand BSG sells.

Bottom line is that this concept is as old as Ivory Soap. Some vendors today have their own consumer websites and give commissions back to salons. None of them work.

You at least have to give Winterhalter credit for thinking about the problem. But when it comes to hair care products for retail, it’s only a problem for BSG because that is their business. For every other business it is just one of hundreds of product categories.

I have a better idea and the timing is right. In fact, it’s perfect for the next generation of salons. I’ll talk more about it in my next blog.

In the meantime, there is one line that loxabeauty.com won’t have on its website and it’s the same brand not available at Ulta: Moroccanoil. Thank God for small miracles.

Happy President’s Day!