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Avoiding Accidental Retail

July 22, 2011

A survey conducted at the end of 2008 by the Professional BeautyAssociation found that retail averages only 6.8% of total sales in U.S. salons. Surprisingly, this number is falling from year to year. And there’s no reason to believe that Canadian salons fare any better. 6.8% is nothing to be proud of. It amounts to little more than leaving the products to sell themselves, or what I like to refer to as accidental retail.

The same survey reveals that most salons sell retail to only 8% of their clientele, who purchase an average yearly total of approximately $180. Translation: a typical stylist sells retail products to only 20 of his / her clients, leaving at least another 220 to fend for themselves at the drugstore or grocery store beauty aisle. “A List” salons do not leave their retail sales up to chance. Their commitment to selling retail is reflected in their numbers, which often surpass the 20% mark. Here are the first 2 out of 10 retail building blocks that “A List” salons use consistently to help maximize their retail potential:

1.  Make it visible and accessible

hairbrushEnsure that your products are clearly visible from the street and that your clients have to walk through your retail area on their way in and out. If you are trying to draw in street shoppers, give retail the first 10% of your space. That is, move your reception and waiting areas back. On the other hand, if you are selling mostly to your existing clientele make sure they pass your retail area before they arrive at the cash on their way out. In addition, your retail area should never be obstructed by any physical or psychological barriers including waiting customers, receptionists, plants or glass cabinet doors.

2.  Select brands carefully

Associate yourself with brands that meet your needs and match your positioning. Although your color line may be your best partner for creativity, ask yourself if the brand is able to meet all your retail needs. Most salons do very well with one primary and one secondary line. Only “retail salons” (i.e. retail accounts for more than 40% of revenues) should consider having more than 3 lines.

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