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Services Up, Retail Down

I love detailing with one of our Beauty Experts visiting salons. Each salon is unique in its own way, yet the underlying concept remains the same: take care of the client so when they leave the salon, they are beautiful with a smile on their face.

In my recent travels, I have noticed "A" salons still busy as ever and "B" salons hanging in. Although the unemployment rate in Michigan recently hit 8.5%, people still need their hair, nails and feet taken care of (even massage treatments are going well).

But when I asked owners how their retail business is doing, many complain (diversion, don't need, too expensive, not interested). However, Target is putting in huge "Professional Only" sections in their stores. ULTA keeps opening more stores and even Macy's is putting in a Professional Only section in all its stores.

So what's a salon to do to build their retail business? One of my associates told me that a very busy salon in Ohio (35 hairdressers, 15 nail techs) complained about retail business although the salon was hopping.

The owner came up with an idea to focus on the front desk staff and for them to ask their clients upon check-out one single question, "Did you enjoy the shampoo and conditioning treatment you received at the back bar?" The obvious answer was "yes." Then the front desk person showed the client the products that were used (no redirect to the retail section) and asked the client "these are the products we used on you today, is it OK to add them to your charges?"

The point is this: people don't like saying "no" and would rather say "yes." That is why when you go into McDonald's, the clerk asks you if you want fries and a soft drink with your cheeseburger--the chances are better that you will say yes than no.

The owner said his retail business tripled since the implementation. What ideas do you have to increase retail business at the salon level?

Happy Tuesday!

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