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Professional vs. Retail Stores

George Schaeffer, CEO of OPI, had an idea years ago. His idea was to convert professional beauty stores to a blend of pro and retail stores. Half the store would be pro only. However, the other half of the store would be retail open to consumers. Pro's would still be able to buy those products at wholesale prices but consumers could buy at retail prices.

For us, the advantages are that our 23 stores would be open to the public and our sales would increase tremendously. We also wouldn't have to tell people who come into the stores that we cannot sell to them. It also allows professionals to bring their friends into the stores to shop.

For salons, it allows them to refer their clients to our stores to buy products they don't want to retail. George's idea allowed for commissions to go back to participating salons but that idea was difficult to manage.

Today, there are plenty of stores open to the public such as Sally, Ulta, Trade Secret and most drug stores and discount stores sell professional goods regularly.

The true question that begs an answer is this: How would salon professionals react if our stores went pro/retail? Based on the pros and cons, I am interested in your response. I know for a fact that many professionals regularly shop Sally and Ulta even though they pay a higher cost due to convenience. So I am hoping double standards doesn't play into the decision. So what are your thoughts?

Happy Thursday!


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