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Management Practices

The Anatomy of Strong Retail Design

Jeff Grissler | July 1, 2016 | 8:10 AM

The amount of effort and time spent planning your salon design and layout is exhausting. The construction process and dollars spent making sure you have utilized every square inch of your space to maximize comfort for your clients and staff has left you overwhelmed. Most of the time the last thing you think of when building-out a new or existing salon is the retail area.

Retailing is a business within your salon that will make you money. Why is the backbone of most salon business overlooked and usually thrown together at the end of a new or remodel project?
New salon owners may not realize that retailing is essential for their business’s success. This fact alone is the reason we feel that it is the last thing they think about when designing and building their salon with very little set aside for budgeting the build-out of this area.

In reality or on paper, your retail area must fit into the concept and design of the salon and should not be overlooked when designing and furnishing the area you have chosen for your retail.
This blog will help you choose the right fixtures for your selected retail area. Like furnishings in your home, the goal is to make it comfortable and convenient for those who work there and the people who visit. The furnishings you choose should make it easy for the customers to buy the salon retail products you are selling.

The most effective way to choose what type of fixtures and layout you like is by visiting other salons in and around your area. Studying salons or stores that sell products similar to the beauty industry will give you some great ideas for the type of displays you like and design that fits your location. Using other people’s ideas and modifying them to make them a natural fit for your space is an effective way to come up with exactly what you need to be successful in retail.

Fine-Tune Your Plan
Your retail layout isn’t ready until you can visualize it from your customers’ perspective. In our experience, the most effective way to lay out a salon retail area is by using empty boxes. The boxes should be placed where you are thinking about putting your display cases or shelving. This will allow you to try all variations of your retail layout. This method should give you a perfect image of how things will look when you are ready to get your actual equipment.

Key things you must remember when laying out your retail area:

1. Space for clients to easily walk around
2. Storage and room for restocking
3. Critical space from fire exit or front door
4. Visual from salon or windows
5. Blocking windows to view your salon
6. Once fixtures are put in place, they are not easy to move

Fixtures for your retail area
There are many types of fixtures being used in salons. What type you choose is up to you and what
fixtures fit your salon style and what image you are trying to portray to your customers. We will identify
different products being used in the field today.

Following is a list of the primary types of fixtures wehave seen in various salons around the world:

Bookcases: Bookcases are specialized fixtures being used in salons. Most cases come in a variety of sizes and are very strong and will hold up in the daily use in your salon. They usually are seven feet tall and are 36 to 48 inches wide. We have seen salons stack these if they have the room and that is very effective. Most come with storage underneath. These units are made out of veneer products and come in a variety of colors.

Gondolas: Gondolas are open-ended display units with shelves on two or four sides. They usually are referred to as islands. The most common size is 54 inches high, 48 inches wide and 36 inches deep. We have seen them with built-in storage units, which makes it easy for restocking your retail products. These units are becoming very popular in salons around the country. They provide a very comfortable approach to display products with ease to access the products. Keep in mind you must have the appropriate room for the gondola units.

Pegboards: Pegboards have been around in retail forever. This is the easiest and most cost-effective way to display your retail products. Pegboards are boards mounted on walls and frames with rows of holes in them to accept display pegs for your shelving. We have seen these units in salon and retail stores around the world. If you are looking for a quick fix for space, this is it. If you are looking for a high-end look, this is not what you should use. Pegboards are efficient and work, but give a low budget look.

Racks: Racks are wire or wood display cases that stand alone or hang from retail wall paneling called slat walls. Slat walls have also been used throughout the salon industry since we can remember. Many of these products are being replaced by stand-alone gondolas or display cases that match the materials used in the rest of the salon. This gives cohesiveness throughout the salon, giving the retail area a better fit and feel for your customers and staff.

Round Rack: These are circular in design and can vary in size and diameter. Most can be adjusted for the height of the product displayed. Round racks hold a great amount of product. They should be used for promotional items.

Cubes: This type of shelving is a freestanding product display. They come in many different sizes. They are a wonderful way to promote one specific product. You must have a good amount of space to use these effectively.

Tables: Tables are flat surfaces that usually can be set up and taken down easily. Portables are commonly used when you are having a sale or for samples. The nice thing about this is when you have a promotion you can easily take them away when you are done. Note: Tables are also known as impulse tables. Great for moving sale items!!

Bins, Barrels And Baskets: These items are miscellaneous display fixtures that you can place in different areas of the salon. They can easily be moved or relocated throughout the salon. This is a great way to display samples and/or items that you may want to discontinue. Be careful when using this approach for selling retail. Clutter is not an effective look in a salon. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of your retail area. L’Oréal has come up with their own brand of retail display cases that emphasizes optimum efficiency and gives a beautiful look that most salons would love to put in place in their salon today. There are different looks and products for every budget. There are many salon designers in the beauty field today that can custom-tailor a look and give you recommendations that fit your budget when building or remodeling your salon.

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