Q. How can I design my retail space to invigorate sales?
A. Don’t put your reception desk right in front or beside the entrance, advises Millard. “Too many owners think they need to have the desk up front to greet the client, but what you’re doing is stopping your clients in their tracks,” he says. “That’s the disconnect between salons and retail. Is there someone to greet you when you walk into Neiman Marcus? Women love to wander around and shop, you should create that retail experience for them to walk through to get to the front desk.”
In his book, Millard recommends making clients wait in the retail area. “Don’t make them wait at a table full of magazines. How much money did you make from magazines last month? Make them wait while facing a retail display … in fact, provide only enough seating for the elderly or infirm, the rest can shop!”
Millard helped the Yann Varin Salon design its retail area in its second location in a chic townhouse off Park Avenue in New York. “For intimacy, we designed a retail area in the front area of the salon, and when he opened, people began walking in because of the displays of Redken and Kérastase. They were then invited to enjoy an introductory service and some champagne. For this second location, Yann built his service business from his retail sales and achieved profitability much sooner.”