January 2010

Charlene Abretske

Beauty Business Buzz | Charlene Abretske


Let’s Get Ready to Rumble…Salon Product vs. the Drug Store Stuff

I bet you hear it every day from your clients, “No I don’t need any product,” and then they come back for their next appointment and inferior products purchased at the drug, grocery, or big box store have ravaged their hair.

If this is happening in your salon then it is time for the gloves to come off and begin to fight back.

You would be surprised what your clients DON’T know about the products they purchase in the beauty aisle. As a general rule, consumers don’t like to make bad choices; remember this as you educate them on the pricing and benefits of what you are offering.

Creating a retail guarantee and posting it in your salon about the products you sell is simple. You must include product guarantee and give the client proof you offer competitively-priced items.

Now, more than ever, clients are looking for guidance on how to get the best product for the best price. We have done a great job in this industry being “exclusive” and “luxurious,” which right now, to consumers, equals too expensive. It’s time to start educating on what salon products have to offer your clients and how your products beat the competition.

One salon owner in Ohio did just that. Merinda recently completed her price comparison and product guarantee and found out the shampoo from her primary retail line sells in the drug store for $6.00 more than it does in her salon. She then quickly went through several other stores to find out their, “everyday low prices,” were not so low in comparison to the prices in her salon. She also purchased some of the products for her clients to inspect the quality of and to compare to what she was selling in the salon.

Merinda posted the price differences in her retail area on her most popular items. She e-mailed her findings out to her client base and quintupled her retail sales in three weeks.

Make your price comparison fun and have your staff get involved. Many times the top objection from a stylist is that their clients can’t afford the products that are offered. In reality, your clients really can’t afford to waste one more dime on inferior product, right?

Last summer the PBA published their year-and-a-half long study on retail in the industry and the findings stated, “While sales of products in salons are on the decline, other retail outlets sales are growing rapidly.” You must think about what you have to offer over other retail outlets and get the word out, or your business may be down for the count.

Here are the steps to be successful at retail price comparison:

• Ask every client what they are using on their hair and where they purchased it.

• Place shelf talkers in your retail area with “our price” vs. “their price.”

• Post a product guarantee for your customers including a note that the product can be returned if you are not satisfied, bring it back and we will refund 100 percent of the cost.

• Post in the retail area that all product sales include a complimentary consultation with a professionally educated stylist to show you what to use, why you chose it for them and how to use it at home.

• Email out monthly retail specials, your clients may run out of product between visits if they are stretching out their appointments. Keep reminding them what great values you offer.

Retail sales are eight times more profitable than your services are to you, and it is time to begin fighting back for your lost retail sales. Walking away from that high of a profit margin will leave your business down for the count.

Charlene Abretske is a business advisor with Your Beauty Network and supports salons and spas with growing their businesses through on-demand back office tools designed for beauty professionals. For more information call (866)364-4926 or email info@iybn.com.