Premier Orlando Show Hits Rock Bottom

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[Reader’s Note: Mr. Smith is a new executive at a global beauty company who is visiting the Premier trade show to get a take on the professional beauty industry]

 

I have been with ABC Beauty Company for two months and just checked into the Orlando Hilton for the Premier Beauty show which I heard so much about. I brought along two colleagues. Our first stop was the lounge in which I heard so much activity at theses shows took place at the bars. Alas, the bar is less than half full and it doesn’t look like a lot of hairdressers are around. And this is Saturday night. Dinner at Capital Grille was interesting to say the least. I was told I would be lucky to get a reservation but the place was not even half filled. I guess all the people that used to dine here sold out.

Sunday, the first big day of the show I am so excited to see what the industry is all about. I walk in at 9:00AM and the first thing I notice is the loud music like I am at a concert. I see two guys on stage sporting Mohawk hair cuts and tat sleeves yelling into their microphones with a couple models in front of them. But there are only 4 people in the audience. In fact, I notice that all the stages have the same types of guys on them doing the same types of things.

Then as I am walking down an aisle, I see three “freaks” in stilts just like in the circus. Curiously I watch to see why they are there and then I see some of the attendees actually take their pictures with them.

Unfortunately after that I was walking down the wrong aisle as I almost got trampled with all the people running with their suitcases to the back of the show. Why would people have suitcases with them, but wait, some have janitor carts on wheels. Holy Toledo, I am almost run over by an electric cart with a suitcase in tow. I finally step out of the way and follow the crowd to see what all the excitement is about. Looks like one of the customers we sell to, Cosmoprof, is having a closeout sale. I count 40 registers. There is even two people swinging shopping baskets at the people to grab one. People are rushing through the aisles like the products will disappear if they don’t hurry. But then I see people paying and running to the other side of the show floor.

So again I follow the crowd being careful not to be run over but it helps I don’t have a suitcase. Same scenario but not a customer of ours, Salon Centric, has the same flea market deals and swinging baskets and rush of people. I have never seen anything like this in my life.

I’m now back to walking the show floor and seeing what our competitors are doing. The entire show floor is filled with women (the only guys around  are on stage) and I’m thinking I must be at a women’s expo and not a pro beauty show. But alas I see signs all over that I am in the right place. One booth is selling real Indian hair and it looks like it came off the streets. Another booth is selling costume jewelry for $1.00 and up. People are lined up for nachos and pretzels in the food area. Somewhere there has to be some hair booths.

I finally come across the Wella booth and truthfully, it’s more of a show within the show than a booth. Very impressive to say the least but looks like they don’t allow roller bags or janitor carts since there isn’t a single customer to be found. I’m sure Wella isn’t selling Koleston for $1 a tube, but looking around, it might not be a bad idea.

There is the TIGI booth and I am reading on it, “Hair products for professionals designed by professionals” and signed by Anthony Mascola. Of course he sold out to Unilever and they opened Sally in January among others. I wonder what that means.

Matrix and Redken did an OK job but I can’t find Pureology, L’Oreal Professionnel, Kerastase or any of the other L’Oreal brands including Essie.

I bump into Vince Davis who I was told was formerly with TIGI. Now he is with Macadamia Nut but they don’t have a booth. I wonder what he was doing there but I have more pressing things to do than think about that.

I also see Paul Sharnsky and I think he is seeing who is doing more business, the Matrix/Redken booth or the flea market. I think he is scratching his head since he doesn’t like the answer.

The crowd is picking up and now I see people dragging their roller bags with multiple empty shopping bags that booths are passing out. Why are people carrying them? Some bags are so big I wonder how anyone could carry them if they were used. I’m going to make a recommend to management that we invest in really big bags.

Oh, there is Mike Nave, another person I was told about. He is about as old as the industry and still writes about it. I look forward to his write-up about this show. I want to yell to Mike to “watch out, the stilt people are right behind you!” He is looking good in his 32 waist but I’m not even sure why I know that.

By now the music is so loud I need to go outside to clear my head. But the number of people smoking has me gagging so it’s back inside.

Actually I’m going to call it a day. I have been to more than 100 shows in my life and I have never witnessed anything like this one. It’s a damn good thing my company didn’t take a booth. I might as well get one of those pretzels.

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

Do you buy souvenirs?

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Who buys souvenirs? I was in Orlando and the airport is souvenir central. I remember as a kid my parents would bring me back something to appease me being gone two weeks. Best selling treat in Florida airports is the coconut squares.

Does the Taco Bell You Tube video make you want to stop eating fast food? Actually, it’s the closed kitchens I worry about most.

Speaking of Orlando, we were exhibiting at the Premier show. Certainly the best show in the industry and if they could get rid of the flea markets operated by both Salon Centric and BSG in the back, it would certainly add a bit of professionalism back to the show.

Disney just raised its ticket price to Disney World to $95 a pop. If they made it $125 a pop, would it make a difference? The place is too busy to enjoy at any price. Endure, endure, endure.

We had a hugely successful warehouse sale this past Sunday with shoppers hunting the warehouse for bargains. And bargains they found. Great job by all the TNG staff to assist the shoppers!!

Sale day 001

Vinylux update: We finally received our wall racks and instead of shipping all 62 shades, we will be shipping 50 shades to those waiting patiently. We still do not have an update on the 12 missing shades but at least we have inventory on all the others. CND had their new booth at the Premier Show staffed with plenty of CND techs sporting Vinylux bright green T-Shirts. Very impressive.

Busiest hair care booth was once again Moroccanoil. They were standing 6 deep to buy goods at regular pricing. Matrix and Paul Mitchell were also busy but they had a huge stage presence.

Airlines are starting to sell annual memberships for baggage (checked and on-board) along with premium economy seats for $399 and $499. Hey if Disney can charge $50 a day per person for a fast pass and Sea World can charge $20 a day for VIP parking, why not? I wonder how much an annual pass at a massage studio chain such as Massage Green or La Vida would cost.

Are more people sick this time of year in history or what? I have never heard about so many bronchitis cases ever. Blame the lousy weather.

Adults 45-54 #1 worry as they get older: Memory. Heck, guys have trouble remembering at all ages.

Happy Monday!

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

Do you buy souvenirs?

View Results

Who buys souvenirs? I was in Orlando and the airport is souvenir central. I remember as a kid my parents would bring me back something to appease me being gone two weeks. Best selling treat in Florida airports is the coconut squares.

Does the Taco Bell You Tube video make you want to stop eating fast food? Actually, it’s the closed kitchens I worry about most.

Speaking of Orlando, we were exhibiting at the Premier show. Certainly the best show in the industry and if they could get rid of the flea markets operated by both Salon Centric and BSG in the back, it would certainly add a bit of professionalism back to the show.

Disney just raised its ticket price to Disney World to $95 a pop. If they made it $125 a pop, would it make a difference? The place is too busy to enjoy at any price. Endure, endure, endure.

We had a hugely successful warehouse sale this past Sunday with shoppers hunting the warehouse for bargains. And bargains they found. Great job by all the TNG staff to assist the shoppers!!

Sale day 001

Vinylux update: We finally received our wall racks and instead of shipping all 62 shades, we will be shipping 50 shades to those waiting patiently. We still do not have an update on the 12 missing shades but at least we have inventory on all the others. CND had their new booth at the Premier Show staffed with plenty of CND techs sporting Vinylux bright green T-Shirts. Very impressive.

Busiest hair care booth was once again Moroccanoil. They were standing 6 deep to buy goods at regular pricing. Matrix and Paul Mitchell were also busy but they had a huge stage presence.

Airlines are starting to sell annual memberships for baggage (checked and on-board) along with premium economy seats for $399 and $499. Hey if Disney can charge $50 a day per person for a fast pass and Sea World can charge $20 a day for VIP parking, why not? I wonder how much an annual pass at a massage studio chain such as Massage Green or La Vida would cost.

Are more people sick this time of year in history or what? I have never heard about so many bronchitis cases ever. Blame the lousy weather.

Adults 45-54 #1 worry as they get older: Memory. Heck, guys have trouble remembering at all ages.

Happy Monday!

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!