You can see Civello’s retail strategy in place by studying the layout of one of the salons he’s...
You can see Civello’s retail strategy in place by studying the layout of one of the salons he’s recently counseled

A solid salon or spa design starts on paper, with a detailed floor plan. Not only is that important for the flow of stylists and client through the service areas, but careful planning in the retail section can have a dramatically positive impact on sales.

George Civello, president of the Novvo Etopa, recently shared some retail design strategies that have proven successful with his salon and spa clients.

Accessibility. “Too many salons design beautiful retail shelves then place them behind the front desk where the client doesn’t have access,” Civello says. “Clients should be able to easily reach all products, be able to take them off the shelf and read the packaging.”

Front Desk Placement: “Salons also tend to put the front desk right inside the door, but in fact you should locate it as far away from the door as possible, while still keeping it in the reception area,” Civello advises. “Think about your favorite successful store, where is their cash register? Most retailers greet the customer with a focus table or two right as they walk in, then the customer has to ‘shop’ their way through the store to the cash register.”

Civello suggests switching out the product offerings on the focus table every 6 to 8 weeks, so the client is always sees something new. He also recommends against putting the desk too close to the window. “Your window is your billboard to passersby about what is going on in the salon. It should be used to highlight your products, specials and the season.”

George Civello, president of Novvo Etopa.

Good Merchandising: “If you watch women shop, they will never buy the last of something on the shelf,” Civello. “Make sure your shelves are well stocked at all times. In the game of retail, you have to show abundance.”

Create a Self-Shopping Environment: “A retailer like Banana Republic will put tall clothes up on the walls so a shopper walking into the store has an unencumbered view of all the retail,” Civello says. “Your retail theater should be inviting.”

“The seating also shouldn’t be in the window. Again, the window is your opportunity to promote yourself, and it should pull shoppers in,” Civello continues. “Also, a waiting area in the window, makes a shopper who doesn’t have an appointment hesitate about coming in and buying products. A definite separation between the retail and the rest of the salon is more inviting to all shoppers.”

Shelf Strategy: “There are a lot of theories about the way you place products on the shelves from the retail world and none of them are exact science,” Civello says. “I advise salons to keep styling aids closer to stylists because they tend to sell them. Think of shampoos and conditioners as the bread and milk in the grocery store—shoppers will seek them out when they need them, so place them in a location where shoppers have to see the bulk of your retail before they reach them.”

Civello recommends keeping impulse buys close to the front desk. An impulse buy are products—like travel sizes or accessories that have a smaller price point and clients don’t think much about grabbing them and adding them on. “I liken it to your magazine or Hershey’s bar at the grocery checkout,” Civello says.

Lighting is critical: “People won’t shop if it’s too dark. If you don’t have lit shelves, consider installing track lighting over your shelves,” Civello advises. “Also, most manufacturers produce great collateral – make sure it is integrated into your displays and that it also is well lit.”

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