Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Are you staying home or going out for NYE?

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Here we are, in the last hurrah of the 2010 decade, wondering where the last ten years went. Hey, I still think about Y2K and 12/31/1999. That seems like forever ago and it seems like yesterday at the same time.

The next two weeks are slow and easy with most of us taking holiday time off, shopping, getting ready for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, college football bowl games and our favorite activity of all: Eating and drinking. No school busses, traffic is light and hey, next weeks temps are in the 40’s and sunshine. It won’t be a White Christmas, but it surely will be enjoyable.

With New Year’s Day falling on Wednesday, even the 2nd and 3rd will be slow with schools still closed and people extending their vacation time. The real action starts Monday, January 6. So what is the action going to look like?

That depends whom you are talking too. Look, it’s a new year and the start of a new decade. The optimist in me looks at this being one of the best times to move forward, embrace change and start off fast. And that is exactly what TNG is going to do. The pessimist in others might look at this time period as just another week, another month, another year that is going to be no different than last year or any other year. Those individuals will fall further behind.

We are going to see a new era of change unlike any other era. The likes of Tesla, Amazon, 5G, AI, biotechnology are just in the early adopter phases of product and technology roll-outs. By the end of this decade, everything we own today in technology will be obsolete and most likely, so will our SUV’s and pickup trucks. Biotech drugs will be introduced at a much faster pace and many cancers will become curable or at least manageable. The average life expectancy in 2100 will be 115 due to all the changes that will take place.

But for now, none of the excitement that will change our world will happen in the beauty business. It will continue to be product driven by celebrities and influencers. Surely this too will change but what new medium will appear to make that change happen? When Coty buys a 51% interest in Kylie’s company for $600 million, you know we are near a tipping point. And speaking of Coty, they are still trying to unload the P&G brands they bought just a few years ago along with OPI, GhD and a few others. It looks they will have to wait until 2020 just like Revlon who has yet to find a buyer. One thing is for certain, the beauty business will not get easier in the new decade.

For TNG, I am staking the company on product innovation, best-in-class customer service (we are like Delta, best service year after year), and best value proposition. If you look at most successful brands moving into 2020, they are all brands that sell their products at list price (no discounts), offer the highest quality and are in stock. These brands include Costco, Trader Joe’s, Lululemon, Apple, and ALDI. And for a peak at the master of branding building, look no further than LVMH who just bought Tiffany for a cool $16B. In fact, Bernard Arnault is the richest man on earth amassing a fortune over $100B and growing faster than Jeff Bezo’s or Bill Gate’s.

I’m super excited about 2020 and at my age, there are not many decades left to get excited about so this is perfect timing! Regardless of what the new era of change takes place, one thing is for certain: Girls from the ages of 6 to 96 will continue to get their mani’s, pedi’s, hair cut-colored-highlighted, and take in the occasional massage and facial. That is the sweet spot, beauty services, and we will continue to lead the way in nurturing this niche segment.

Safe travels whether you are staying home or on the road, safe and healthy new  year and look forward to connecting in 2020.

Happy Wednesday!

Larry

TNG Discovery Huge Success

How do you think the economy will be in 6 months?

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The Premier show in Orlando was two weekends ago and by all counts, was well attended. Perhaps some 30,000 crowded into the Orlando Expo Center with rolling carts to snap up bargains, walk through the flea market environment and catch some real deals at the Salon Centric close-out party. For those that call Premier a success, shame shame on you. How is our industry going to grow and prosper in this environment? It’s not.

That’s why TNG Discovery was such a gamble. Some 25 salons and 25 suppliers relaxed at the Four Seasons Dallas Resort & Club for three impactful days. By the end of the event, everyone knew everyone by first name and it was almost like camp letting out with people exchanging business cards and phone numbers. In a speed-dating format, each salon had 20 minutes to learn about  each of the supplier’s offerings and then move on to another table to learn more. In all, salons attended more than 20 meetings. This was intermixed with plenty of food, fun and enjoyment at night, all in a very relaxed inspirational environment.

There were no screaming hairdressers on stage vying for attention. There was no music turned up to 120db so loud that you couldn’t even think. In fact, there was no music. There were no rolling carts although salon owners walked away with plenty of sample bags. There were no lines in the bathrooms, no wristbands, no hand stamps and no eating lunch on the floor. There were no models parading around three-quarters naked with hair that not even E! would show on TV.

TNG Discovery actually treated salon owners as business people and get this, intelligent conversations took place all day long. People actually learned, listened and wrote ideas down. They were intrigued at how simple it was to increase their business, their bottom line and low and behold, sell stuff they never thought of selling before.

But the real gamble was this: Were salon owners ready for an event of this caliber? Would they demand platform artists and models? Would they demand to buy goods onsite? Could they be in one room all day long?

The answer was self-evident from the moment the program started. It was eerily magical. It was truly a discovery.

Listen, the Four Seasons is the Four Seasons for a reason. Those that want the absolute best do business with them. We were surrounded by many other groups yet they performed flawlessly. And TNG is TNG for a reason. It is now readily apparent that trade shows are done for us and we will focus on those salons and spas that love doing business the way business should be done. Wow, what a concept.

Follows is a short recap video taken at TNG Discovery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxw6VHcPo8U

Happy Wednesday!

Out Of My Mind In 2010

Do you make New Year's resolutions?

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New Year’s Eve is in two days, wasn’t it just New Year’s Day 2010? I’m celebrating by having a few friends come over for dinner and watch the Time’s Square ball drop at midnight. That is of course I can stay up that long!

Do you know why it’s called Times Square? In 1904, the New York Times opened their new offices and pleaded with New York to change the name from Longacre Square to Times Square.

What are you doing for New Year’s Eve? Most likely eating. Favorite foods include crab legs, lobster, steak and shrimp.

I’m not sure what I’m going to remember about 2010 five years from now. There were plenty of disasters, a sick economy getting better, the rebirth of GM and Chrysler, the Spartans winning the national championship, OPI and Essie being sold, and the end of the occupation of Iraq.

Gas is $3.18 a gallon and going up even more. Isn’t it strange that the media isn’t commenting on this like the first time it surged past the $3 a gallon mark? I know GM with its Volt and Ford with its Fiesta is smiling all the way to the bank.

Did you make your New Year’s resolutions yet? Forget it, 95% of them are broken after the first week.

What were your favorite new products introduced in 2010? For sure the iPad is #1 followed by the iPhone 4. I can’t recall any beverages that got hot like Red Bull or Vitamin Water in years past.

It appears credit cards will be the next item to disappear. Smart phones will have all the credit card info and you will line up the smart phone at the cash wrap to pay for transactions. No signature required.

I read that the next technology to hit ereaders will be paper. Paper is the perfect medium for electromagnetic particles that when configured a certain way, appears just like ink on paper. And like paper, the reader can be rolled up and once used, can even be disposed of. Apparently this is 3-5 years out.

2011 will be another interesting year. Growth will continue in third world countries (Vietnam for example is booming); Europe will still be constrained by its debt while the U.S. will continue its recovery. Unfortunately, housing will remain weak and unemployment will most likely stay above 9%. With commodities at all time highs, and continuing higher, one wonders if and when prices will start to go up. Pressures to keep prices down and increased productivity will remain powerful incentives to keep prices in line. At the salon and spa level, look for more of the same. Hospitality will see more occupancy at the higher end properties as businesses open their purse strings to more travel and events.

TNG is ready to rock in 2011. thebeautybook Spring 2011 edition and The Industry Source magazine are both in the mail and we have plenty of new initiatives ready to go. One of the most exciting ones is our new capability to customize and fill 8 oz. and 16 oz. bottles for the salon/spa/hospitality industry. Another exciting area is the launch of black 15in1 which has had numerous press mentions from its celebrity launch event. Also, we just updated theindustrysource.com to show real time inventory so when customers order online they will now see stock on hand.

And last but not least, thanks for being part of my blog in 2010. I’m excited to launch the video blog in 2011 and have some fun with technology. Have a safe, healthy, and successful 2011.

Happy New Year!

FRINGE 2011/Dallas

FRINGE 2011/Dallas

Public workers make double what private workers make. How do you feel about this?

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Our first major event in TEXAS is coming to Dallas Sunday, January 23 at the historic Granada theater. FRINGE is about food, fun and fashion and will highlight the best guest artists from Davines, Michael O’Rourke (Michael himself will be on stage!), Kemon, Joico and more.

Tickets go on sale December 1. This amazing event inclusive of everything is only $25; $50 VIP includes preferred seating, valet parking and a couple other surprises.

More information on FRINGE will be on our website, tngworldwide.com, towards the end of November. In the meantime, if you are going to be in the Dallas area, save the date. This is going to be one no-miss event!

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Happy Thursday!

TEXAS: Land of Opportunity

TEXAS: Land of Opportunity

Which breakfast food do you prefer?

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After signing the deal with J.D. Wright, owner of Salon Source, it was a whirlwind tour of Houston, Ft. Worth and Dallas.

Houston is home to Salon Source (SS) where I got to meet most of the SS employees at our inaugural announcement meeting. Cleverly, J.D. had everyone, including himself, don MSU shirts with “Rebels 2010” on the back. In the background Jimmy Buffett was playing “Margaretville.” It was a class act all the way and luckily MSU beat Notre Dame.

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[Good thing JD went into beauty supplies instead of modeling!]

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Afterwards, I took everyone to a celebration dinner at Pappadeux which seems to own the Houston restaurant scene. J.D. even bought a bottle of Dom for the occasion.

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[J.D. was still upset over the $20 corkage fee]

The next day I visited the Houston store and met up with Richard, the store manager. Rich is quite the hoot and knew his stuff. It was then off to Dallas and Ft. Worth (about 5 hours away from Houston, 40 minutes via Southwest).

Ft. Worth is about an hour from Dallas and is quite the impressive city. I met up with Tonya, the Ft. Worth store manager and she shared her insight. Like all of Texas, people are starving for personalized service and she was so happy to be part of TNG.

Dallas is a sprawling city (third largest in Texas) and I visited the one store on the outer edge. The store manager, Will, was on top of his game with over 30 years experience. This location will serve as our Dallas Academy.

I met up with a few salon owners in the stores and they too were geeked about what was coming their way. Texas is the land of opportunity and it was quite evident during my short visit.

J.D. and I are both very excited and look forward to bringing the TNG world to Texas. I may even have to buy me a pickup truck and start eating donuts and barbeque! Or better  yet, bring a little Michigan down to Texas.

Happy Wednesday!

TNG Worldwide Acquires Salon Source

What's your favorite Texas city?

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Someone once said you either move onward or downward. I prefer to move onward and in one of the biggest moves in TNG’s 26 year history, we are moving into TEXAS in a real TEXAN way: Big time.

Here is an excerpt of the press release sent to media and trade publications. Now you know why news is instant these days!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TNG Worldwide announces acquisition of Salon Source, Houston, TX
TNG Worldwide announces opening of new distribution center in Dallas, TX

Farmington Hills, Michigan/USA- September 20, 2010

TNG Worldwide has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Salon Source, a full-service beauty distributor based in Houston, TX. The acquisition will be effective October 26, 2010.

“Texas boasts three of the top ten cities in the USA and continues to attract people. Texas is underserved when it comes to professional beauty distribution and we are excited to do in Texas what we accomplished in Michigan,” states Larry Gaynor, President & CEO, TNG Worldwide.

Texas has approximately 27,000 salons servicing its population of 24 million. Salon Source has store locations in Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth and Houston. “This is an extremely good fit between companies and I’m excited to continue to grow the Texas marketplace with TNG’s immense resources and dedication to its customers” comments J.D. Wright, Founder of Salon Source, who will stay on as VP of the Texas division.

To accommodate the growth, TNG is opening a new 30,000 sq. ft. distribution center in Coppell, TX, a Dallas suburb. “We will have everything in place for our opening November 1,” states Gaye Wanner, VP Logistics, TNG Worldwide.

In addition to the brands Salon Source sells, TNG will add many of its Michigan brands to the fold. “This is a very exciting time for our employees, our customers and suppliers,” adds Gaynor.

Happy Monday!