The salon business is tough, which is not news for those in the trenches on a daily basis. According to Kline PRO, the first half of this year saw service transaction counts down 6%, while service revenues declined by just 1%. Hair product sales from salons to consumers fell across all categories. So, what can be done to survive and ideally thrive? Be open to change and leverage the major advantage you have over much of your competition—the stylist.
Competitors, such as the Internet and unauthorized sellers, do not have a trained professional that can personally consult with the client, assess needs, and create an ultimate experience that will fully meet the client’s requirements and expectations. The stylist does need support however. Training on current techniques partnered with information on the latest trends in both services and products will give salons a fighting chance.
Salons that are successful will know the services that their customers are seeking as well as those that can bear a higher price. The right mix between the two will increase overall service revenue.
Services that saw the highest increase in total revenue are as follows:
In addition to offering the right menu of services, it is important to use, stock, and promote the right array of products to support and maintain the hairstyles being created. Salon owners and stylists are not alone in figuring out the right mix of products; manufacturers and distributors are heavily invested as well. As already stated, it is a challenging marketplace. Kline PRO’s point of sale data for independent salons shows total retail product sales were down 11% in the first half of this year. Seven of the top 10 brands lost share during this period when compared to 2016.
However, these are significant brands, making up nearly 58% of all sales when combined. So, while it makes sense to carry familiar brands to your clients, it also makes sense to look for brands that are up and coming. Look for brands that are innovative and exciting and support new trends. A strong presence on social media will resonate with tech-savvy clients. Some brands that managed to post increased sales during this period of declining sales are:
SOURCE: Kline PRO Sell Through Data Share must be > 0.5.
The one thing most of these brands have in common is that they have products that align with current style trends. Clients are investing a lot of money in hair coloring services, and they want to protect that investment. Noted color care products from these companies include Amika’s Keep Your Color and Bust Your Brass lines and Surface’s Pure Blonde. Conditioners were another key to the success of these brands: Ouidad’s Moisture Lock Leave In and Brazilian Blowout’s improvement on its core Acai Anti Frizz line.
All is not lost for today’s salons, they just need to play it smart. Knowledge is power; keeping abreast of what is happening will help salons achieve the winning mix of services, products, and pricing. Only the salon can provide the actual services that clients need and want. Still, their trip to the salon needs to cater to the whole experience: professional consultation, expert execution, hands-on instruction, and informed recommendations for products to keep them going until their next visit. For deep data on the salon hair care market’s performance, please refer to our Kline PRO service—a powerful tool based on actual salon transactions which yields category, brand, and product-level sales and service data on a quarterly basis.