Salon Management

Searching for the Perfect Salon

by Allyson King | September 30, 2015
Eddie and I checking out a potential site location for our new Brooklyn salon.
Eddie and I checking out a potential site location for our new Brooklyn salon.

We’re meeting Eddie, our Real Estate broker, today.  We are traveling all of our favorite Brooklyn neighborhoods. 

We've laid out the co-tenancy we are looking for--coffee shop, wine store, solid train/bus access, great food with lots of outdoor eateries.  We really want to be a community salon--sool, hip, connected to our neighborhood.  We are targeting up-and-coming neighborhoods to take advantage of lower rents before they get too expensive.   We decided to spend one day together touring, the purpose isn't really to find a space but to help Eddie have a vision of what I'm looking; what's cool as far as size, shape, etc.  

Site Tour – What to Know Before You Go
1.    Know What You Can Afford – Rent should be less than 12 percent of your revenue.
2.    Size Does Matter – Will your business plan drive the revenue you need to afford the rent?
•    Max. Sales Potential – # Revenue Center x Avg. Ticket x 200 Clients a Month
•    Salon Avg. Stations Per Square Foot – 800 sqft. 8; 1000 sqft. 10
3.    Shape Can Matter – Often our choices are a square or a bowling alley, if you don’t get my analogy you will after your first site tour.  I like a bowling alley, it’s easier, often fits more stations and can be cheaper to build out.

We go for busy high traffic, often called “A” real estate. As rents in NYC are so high we are targeting B+/A- which are under huge redevelopment and national chains have started to enter (they have all the fancy demographic and shopping behavior data to project future growth).   

Site #1
Our first neighborhood, we found a location of interest it's an old space going through renovations.  There is only one other salon in the neighborhood.  Space is a bit narrow, have to think through station plan if we can only fit 6 stations, what will that mean for our bottom-line…

The super narrow space of Site 1 means we would only be able to fit stations along one side.

See the entrance on the left, yes the bottom of the wall that’s missing.  That’s the basement entrance.  Gotta love NYC.

Site #2
We’ve hit several more neighborhoods, nothing interesting we even started going into the salons on the blocks we want to be on and ask if they'd like to sell.  No bites yet.   

Site #3/4/5
Our final neighborhood is proving very fruitful.  We’ve asked existing salons if they’ve liked to sell, one is interested in selling and we’ve seen three build-to-suit interesting locations.  Here are our best choices… the existing salon, two build-to-suit locations.

TD Bank and Grocery Store. Pro of this space is it's easy to build out and there is some lease hold improvement money (they'd do some of the work for us.) The Con is it looks like a suburban strip center instead of a piece of the community.

Moving on, this Brownstone has a cold, dark front, but it's neighbors are sushi and wine--yum! On the interior, you'll see there is a lot to do but it's an amazing space, it's basement-free and has outdoor space. The con is it'll be expensive to build out.

Next, we find an Existing Salon which is an interesting opportunity.

Stay tuned for our blog on our thoughts about buying an existing salon or build-to-suit. We'll chat soon.

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