Management Practices

PBA’s Business of Beauty Study is a Retail Mythbuster

Stacey Soble | July 10, 2011 | 2:13 PM

Cosmoprof Symposium 2009 kicked off early Sunday morning by digging deep into the research revealed by the landmark Business of Beauty study. To pique the interest of owners, Presenter Neil Stern demonstrated how an overall 3 percent increase in retail sales would mean an additional $30,000 in revenue and $15,000 in incremental profits to a salon.

Click the image to play a video interview with PBA member Sara Jones.

“Although consumers like to learn about products when the stylist is using them, 71 percent of your clients were not offered a product introduction,” says Stern. “Even though the overall sales of beauty products continues to grow, the proportion purchased in the salon is declining while sales are increasing for supercenters and discount retailers.”

Stern then took a closer look at some commonly held beliefs about retail, using the study’s data to reveal reality.

Myth: Stylists don’t like to retail products.
Reality: Stylists really do like to recommend and sell products, but they want more training on how to do it properly.

Myth: Consumers don’t like to be bothered.
Reality: 88 percent of consumers say they don’t mind being educated about products, in fact they believe it’s part of the salon experience.

Myth: The Internet is stealing sales.
Reality: Only 2 percent of the 43 billion worth of products sold are purchased online.

The majority of consumers in the study also revealed that they like to learn about products when the stylist is using them.

PBA members Cary O’Brien, Sara Jones and Edwin Neill wrapped up the session by outlining an 8-step process for boosting customer loyalty and increasing profits by building a consistent, systematic approach to retail sales:

  • Step 1—Establish a clear commitment to retail that is integrated with the overall salon philosophy and culture.
  • Step 2—Focus on retail education and training.
  • Step 3—Make a recommendation.
  • Step 4—Have strong merchandising of retail products.
  • Step 5—Offer strategic selections.
  • Step 6—Be creative with promotions.
  • Step 7—Align incentives.
  • Step 8—Measure, measure, measure.

To obtain a full copy of the Business of Beauty report, visit

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