The Chair/Suite Rental PhenomenonAs the salon suite rental operations are popping up in towns across the country, independent salon owners are shocked when a percentage of their staff migrates to what they perceive is a more lucrative lifestyle. SALON TODAY checked in with Cyrus Bulsara, president of Professional Consultants and Resources, a leading salon industry strategic consultants and data source, to find out more about this trend. “Chair/suite rentals now constitute around 35% to 37% of all U.S. salons,” says Bulsara. “They are offering a pleasant, individualized ambiance at competitive prices, plus personalized, one-on-one services that draw and retain clients.”

Some facts:

• Chair/suite rentals are defi ned as places where individual stylists rent chairs/suite space from another individual, partners or a company at a fixed cost for use of space, utilities and services within a salon of any size. Joint profit-sharing models also exist.

• In 2012, the total number of licensed salon in the U.S. with hair care as a primary focus was estimated at approximately 175,000. The number of salons is 3% higher than reported in 2011, which is good news for the salon industry. Growth had temporarily slowed down, due to tight credit during the 2008-2009 recessions, but has improved strongly, adding completely new genres like Blow-bars and Dry-bars, as the economy improves.

• Chair/suite rentals are a burgeoning trend in the western half of the U.S. Nearly 47,000 to 52,000 salons and/or single operators are part of this huge growth phenomenon. Chair/suite rentals salons are omnipresent in the Midwest, West, Northwest, South, Southwest, and Southeast.

• It is estimated that now nearly 37% of all salons in the U.S. are operating some form of chair/suite rentals. They are the fastest-growing salon type in the U.S. These are either under single/joint ownership, entrepreneurial and various profi t-sharing models. These new location are luxurious with 20-40 operators that offer clients a “one-stop-shop”’ mix of hair, skin, nail, body and cosmetic services.