Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

When are you buying the iPhone 5?

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Week 2: MSU 41, CMU 7. Spartans now ranked #9 according to AP. Next up: Notre Dame. Big game Saturday night at Spartan Stadium. Can the Spartan’s make it 16 in a row at home? One note of interest was that this was MSU’s first appearance at Central. The game had a record attendance of more than 35,000 and both marching bands joined in at the end of halftime. Very cool.

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Both the LIons and Wolverines were lucky to pull out victories. Let’s see what happens when they play quality teams. And yes, it has been a while since Spartan’s had bragging rights.

My yoga teacher today repeated a well know proverb, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” One of the best.

Beauty Buzz is less than a month away, hard to believe. It’s going to be a fabulous program and a huge fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. It is October 7, 4-6PM at the Motor City Casino Hotel Sound Board. Visit for more info.

Over Labor Day, Carter came in to visit. Now 7 months old and already eating real foods and standing up. It is very cool watching the growing up process all over again. All of a sudden, 18 years from birth to college doesn’t sound like a long time.

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Mitch Albom has yet another book out, this one about time, The Time Keeper. I have not read the book but it starts out about the person who actually decided to come up with a way of keeping track of time. This lead to a day, week, month and year concept. Albom discusses what it would be like if we had no calendars, no watches and no time to pay attention to. What I have always found fascinating about time is that everyone complains they never have enough of it. But when it comes to finding time to do things they really want to do like go on vacation, people always find the time for that. One subject that Albom recently wrote about in the Sunday Free Press is how time eludes us quickly and there is a reason why we don’t live forever. One comment he made that resonates is why do we want more time? So many people are in a routine and they don’t want to step outside that routine even for important events. Time marches on, it’s what we do with it that counts.

Moroccanoil Body hits salons and spas this month. Premium retail line, premium pricing and premium packaging. Retail prices range from $10 to $52. It will be interesting to see which, if any, argon oil hair care companies follow suit.

ULTA announces record earnings and store revenue once again driving the stock to over $100 a share.

Joico is updating its entire line with new packaging for 2013. The current packaging never took off and word is that the new packaging will feature brighter and bolder colors. Hmm, wonder if ULTA buyers had a say in this?

Jan Arnold is the mastermind behind Shellac and the co-founder of CND. Jan is hosting perhaps her last really big Shellac class in Detroit October 8. The event has sold out but we have added another 50 tickets due to demand. If you are into gel color, then this class is a must. You will be amazed at what you can do with Shellac and a few nail art items to create amazing nails.

Wednesday Apple will unveil the iPhone 5. This will be the most incredible smart phone of all, at least for the next few months. Larger screen, 4LTE technology, perhaps NFC technology (to scan credit cards without taking them out of your purse or wallet), navigation that talks while you drive, online music streaming (good-bye Pandora) and a whole bunch of more stuff that we didn’t know we needed. The iPad Mini will be even more fun.

Happy Monday!

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

When are you buying the iPhone 5?

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Week 2: MSU 41, CMU 7. Spartans now ranked #9 according to AP. Next up: Notre Dame. Big game Saturday night at Spartan Stadium. Can the Spartan’s make it 16 in a row at home? One note of interest was that this was MSU’s first appearance at Central. The game had a record attendance of more than 35,000 and both marching bands joined in at the end of halftime. Very cool.

IMG_1380

Both the LIons and Wolverines were lucky to pull out victories. Let’s see what happens when they play quality teams. And yes, it has been a while since Spartan’s had bragging rights.

My yoga teacher today repeated a well know proverb, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” One of the best.

Beauty Buzz is less than a month away, hard to believe. It’s going to be a fabulous program and a huge fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. It is October 7, 4-6PM at the Motor City Casino Hotel Sound Board. Visit for more info.

Over Labor Day, Carter came in to visit. Now 7 months old and already eating real foods and standing up. It is very cool watching the growing up process all over again. All of a sudden, 18 years from birth to college doesn’t sound like a long time.

IMG_1367

Mitch Albom has yet another book out, this one about time, The Time Keeper. I have not read the book but it starts out about the person who actually decided to come up with a way of keeping track of time. This lead to a day, week, month and year concept. Albom discusses what it would be like if we had no calendars, no watches and no time to pay attention to. What I have always found fascinating about time is that everyone complains they never have enough of it. But when it comes to finding time to do things they really want to do like go on vacation, people always find the time for that. One subject that Albom recently wrote about in the Sunday Free Press is how time eludes us quickly and there is a reason why we don’t live forever. One comment he made that resonates is why do we want more time? So many people are in a routine and they don’t want to step outside that routine even for important events. Time marches on, it’s what we do with it that counts.

Moroccanoil Body hits salons and spas this month. Premium retail line, premium pricing and premium packaging. Retail prices range from $10 to $52. It will be interesting to see which, if any, argon oil hair care companies follow suit.

ULTA announces record earnings and store revenue once again driving the stock to over $100 a share.

Joico is updating its entire line with new packaging for 2013. The current packaging never took off and word is that the new packaging will feature brighter and bolder colors. Hmm, wonder if ULTA buyers had a say in this?

Jan Arnold is the mastermind behind Shellac and the co-founder of CND. Jan is hosting perhaps her last really big Shellac class in Detroit October 8. The event has sold out but we have added another 50 tickets due to demand. If you are into gel color, then this class is a must. You will be amazed at what you can do with Shellac and a few nail art items to create amazing nails.

Wednesday Apple will unveil the iPhone 5. This will be the most incredible smart phone of all, at least for the next few months. Larger screen, 4LTE technology, perhaps NFC technology (to scan credit cards without taking them out of your purse or wallet), navigation that talks while you drive, online music streaming (good-bye Pandora) and a whole bunch of more stuff that we didn’t know we needed. The iPad Mini will be even more fun.

Happy Monday!

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!

Out Of My Mind On A Friday Mornin’

Did you buy a Lotto ticket for the big game?

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So what is the big deal of the Lotto getting to $650 million? It’s not enough to win $300 million? The chances of winning are about the same as getting not one, but two holes-in-one in an 18 hole round. I have yet to get one and I have yet to get a Royal Flush playing Texas Holdem. Yes, we had to buy a few tickets to join the party or as one person told me, “To get a foot in the door.” I learned that for best odds, pick your own numbers. Good luck to all!

No doubt if you won the Lotto you would not pick up a penny if you saw one on the ground. But would you anyway? Chances are no. Now if Canada has its way, its residents won’t have to worry about the dilemma anymore as it wants to ban the penny much like other countries have. They state it cost them $.016 to produce a penny and they lose over $10 million a year. But if they won the Lotto. . .

Best Buy is getting crushed by amazon.com and other online retailers. They are closing 50 stores and most likely many more in the future. This is a bad sign for big box retailers as Best Buy is one of the best run retailers in the world. If they can’t make it, who is going to be left, Starbucks and Five Guys? It seems consumers no longer need a physical store to buy electronics and other gear or perhaps only to “shop” and then order online while at the store. It’s an interesting phase we are now in.

CVS found out the hard way just like Best Buy did a few years ago that breaking into the beauty market is not so easy. They have decided to shutter their 360 concept after testing it with 25 stores. ULTA is the grand prize winner and will continue to dominate the landscape. Their stock is pushing $100.

Good to see Michigan’s unemployment under 9% and the auto companies doing well. But hopefully everyone has learned their lesson and Michigan diversifies and education picks up its pace.

Are you loving the new Timeline homepage on Facebook? Not!

black 15in1 launches its refill size of Miracle Hair Treatment next month by popular request.

Beauty Buzz will be all the buzz come October. Beauty Buzz is all about beauty and will feature some great names in the business. Jay Towers will be the emcee and Ambassador magazine will cover the event top to bottom. Look for more information coming up. The event is Sunday, October 7 at the Motor City Casino Hotel.

Speaking of events, we are holding the greatest salon equipment and furniture sale in history. In fact, virtually every item in our showroom will be for sale and/or auction. If you need a new styling chair or to outfit a new salon, this is the event you have been waiting for. Monday, May 14 at the Pavillion. The fun starts at 8AM.

Of all the companies that offer TV, Internet and Phone, ATT’s U-verse ranks at the bottom. There is not another company with such poor customer service to go along with poor performing products. When Comcast looks good, you know how bad is bad.

Happy Friday!

Out Of My Mind On A Friday Mornin’

Did you buy a Lotto ticket for the big game?

View Results

So what is the big deal of the Lotto getting to $650 million? It’s not enough to win $300 million? The chances of winning are about the same as getting not one, but two holes-in-one in an 18 hole round. I have yet to get one and I have yet to get a Royal Flush playing Texas Holdem. Yes, we had to buy a few tickets to join the party or as one person told me, “To get a foot in the door.” I learned that for best odds, pick your own numbers. Good luck to all!

No doubt if you won the Lotto you would not pick up a penny if you saw one on the ground. But would you anyway? Chances are no. Now if Canada has its way, its residents won’t have to worry about the dilemma anymore as it wants to ban the penny much like other countries have. They state it cost them $.016 to produce a penny and they lose over $10 million a year. But if they won the Lotto. . .

Best Buy is getting crushed by amazon.com and other online retailers. They are closing 50 stores and most likely many more in the future. This is a bad sign for big box retailers as Best Buy is one of the best run retailers in the world. If they can’t make it, who is going to be left, Starbucks and Five Guys? It seems consumers no longer need a physical store to buy electronics and other gear or perhaps only to “shop” and then order online while at the store. It’s an interesting phase we are now in.

CVS found out the hard way just like Best Buy did a few years ago that breaking into the beauty market is not so easy. They have decided to shutter their 360 concept after testing it with 25 stores. ULTA is the grand prize winner and will continue to dominate the landscape. Their stock is pushing $100.

Good to see Michigan’s unemployment under 9% and the auto companies doing well. But hopefully everyone has learned their lesson and Michigan diversifies and education picks up its pace.

Are you loving the new Timeline homepage on Facebook? Not!

black 15in1 launches its refill size of Miracle Hair Treatment next month by popular request.

Beauty Buzz will be all the buzz come October. Beauty Buzz is all about beauty and will feature some great names in the business. Jay Towers will be the emcee and Ambassador magazine will cover the event top to bottom. Look for more information coming up. The event is Sunday, October 7 at the Motor City Casino Hotel.

Speaking of events, we are holding the greatest salon equipment and furniture sale in history. In fact, virtually every item in our showroom will be for sale and/or auction. If you need a new styling chair or to outfit a new salon, this is the event you have been waiting for. Monday, May 14 at the Pavillion. The fun starts at 8AM.

Of all the companies that offer TV, Internet and Phone, ATT’s U-verse ranks at the bottom. There is not another company with such poor customer service to go along with poor performing products. When Comcast looks good, you know how bad is bad.

Happy Friday!

ULTA Plows Ahead Seeking Salon Product Domination

Which store is your favorite retail beauty store?

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Trade Secret had the opportunity and blew it. Beauty First thought they had the right idea but they didn’t. Sally thought about it but understood its market position and wisely maintained it.

ULTA on the other hand with the backbone of Lynn Kirby fought and fought in the same battlefield and came out the ultimate winner. First known as Ulta 3 when they started in 1990, ULTA now commands the market, has upwards of 450 stores and plans on adding another 550 over the next few years. Each store is 10,000 sq.ft. and offers a 950 sq. ft. salon for services. Read more about ULTA here.

It wasn’t too long ago that their stock was less than $10 a share. Today you can’t buy it for less than $75. So what is the compelling story that made ULTA succeed when so many of its contemporaries failed? Kirby understood consumers.

Think back to the late 70’s and early 80’s when the first real wave of retail salon products arrived. This was the period of Paul Mitchell, Matrix, Nexxus, Aveda, Redken so many other brands. These brands were developed by hairdressers and sold exclusively to local salons. It was the birth of salon retailing. Soon salons outside their local markets wanted the products and the expansion of full service distributors evolved. Those lucky enough at the time to land one of these brands was set for life. Nexxus distributors ended up owning private jets they made so much money with the brand. Distributors couldn’t hire enough salespeople and open stores fast enough to satisfy the demand. It was a feeding frenzy.

This drove other hairdressers to develop their own lines and we saw the likes of Sebastian, ARTec, and dozens others. Money and profits were free-flowing and the party was huge.

But alas in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, like so many other industries, greed and market domination took hold. But the overwhelming trend that no one spotted was that salons didn’t focus on retail products even with their monopolistic position. Sure they loved the brands they used but it wasn’t their focus to sell them. As manufacturer’s grew along with marketing and promotional campaigns, consumers demanded salon products more than ever. But they weren’t happy with their choices where to buy the brands they wanted since salons focused on the brands they wanted to carry instead of the brands consumers wanted them to carry.

Most likely this is what caused the beginning of diversion. Manufacturers said to themselves, “Hey, we got a huge market and we need to position our goods so consumers can buy our products.” Retailers such as Target, CVS and Walgreen’s craved salon products because consumers came into their stores looking for them. One innovative company understood all this and became the pioneer in the diversion movement and to this day, continues to be the leader (no, not ULTA). Diversion suddenly became a huge issue but the uncanny thing about this was that salons cared but they continued to carry the same brands that were diverted. As manufacturers learned this, they thought, “Heck, if salons complain but still carry my brand, why not continue?” And they did.

During all this, ULTA strategically decides upon its business model. Kirby learns from Trade Secrets that if we have a working salon in our retail space, we can sell EVERY professional brand to consumers that we want. Unlike salons who chose brands that they had to personally like to use or retail, ULTA knew firsthand that was nonsense. The only thing important to ULTA was to carry brands consumers wanted to buy. That was the thinking that changed everything.

Today while diversion is alive and well, it’s not the key subject in the industry. ULTA changed that.

Walk into an ULTA store today and you will be amazed at the number of professional brands they carry from hair care to nail care to appliance and everything in-between. They are now getting into “Sephora” type goods which will make them even more of a powerhouse. And with their superior marketing strategy including daily email blasts, discounts, loyalty programs, free shipping and much more, how will anyone compete with them moving forward?

Salons can no longer carry all the brands consumers want, there are too many and ULTA owns the market. Listed are some strategies salons have adopted:

  • Focus on services and maintain a non-commitment to retail
  • Focus on “exclusive” brands such as Kerastase, Bumble & Bumble, and Oribe
  • Focus on niche brands new to the marketplace not sold at ULTA

Believe it or not, even when ULTA does get to 1000 stores, they will only represent less than 1% of the salon universe. This suggests that salons still have a competitive advantage much like a locally owned restaurant has over a chain. But like the locally owned restaurants that compete with chains, even though the owner/chef may not eat burgers, fries and pizza, they know their customers can’t get enough of it. Salon owners as well will need to change their mindset and start offering brands that consumers want to buy regardless of what their likes or their stylists likes are.

Two brands that are perfect examples of this include Morocannoil and black 15in1. Morocannoil is not sold at ULTA. Demand from consumers is intense. Every smart and savvy salon using the new paradigm should sell Morocannoil and become a Moroccanoil Loyalty Salon. The opportunity for salon owners is limited and they must jump on the bandwagon when they can and cash in.

It took industry pioneers to launch salon retail products. It will take industry pioneers in 2012 to rethink salon retailing philosophy and in doing so, they too will make a killing. The landscape is set and ready for take-off.

Happy Thursday!