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Awards & Contests

20 Years of the Salon Today 200: Looking Back, Growing Forward

by Stacey Soble | January 5, 2017
20 years of Salon Today 200 covers.
20 years of Salon Today 200 covers.

IN 1998, SALON TODAY launched the Salon Today 200 in an effort to…

  • Honor the business side of professional beauty and to celebrate our most innovative salon and spa owners and managers.
  • Develop a system for measuring business success in the salon and spa world and develop benchmarks that could inspire all owners and managers.
  • Create a forum where owners and managers could support one another and share valuable business-building advice.

Those were ambitious goals, but one SALON TODAY attained and has maintained for 20 years. As we introduce you to this year’s Salon Today 200 honorees, it’s the perfect time to look back to see just how far the competition and the industry have come:

Sales doubled: In the 1998 issue (which reflected data from calendar year 1996), the 200 honorees reported a collective gross annual sales of $185,000,000, making the average gross sales per salon $925,000. In 2017 (which reflects data from calendar year 2015), annual gross sales for the 200 doubled to a little more than $392,000,000. On average, this year’s honorees report gross sales of $1,970,000. What’s truly remarkable is today’s salons have doubled those sales, while employing the same number of people (7,000) as did honorees 20 years ago!

Prices Rise: In 1999, the average price charged at a ST200 salon for a shampoo, cut and style was $36. And, while many in the industry believe that salons continue to undervalue themselves when it comes to pricing, the average charged for a shampoo, cut and style has risen to $54 this year.

A Spa Explosion: Twenty years ago, integrating a day spa was a big growth strategy for many salons. In 1999, 56% considered themselves to be both a salon and day spa. In 2017, that status is almost a given, with 97% reporting their status as a salon and day spa.

Color Ka-Ching: In 1999, the Salon Today 200 broke down their gross sales as 44% from cutting services, 30% from color services, and 23% from spa-type services. In 2017, and for the past several years, hair color drives the sales. This year’s honorees report that color is responsible for 36% of their total gross revenue, with cutting services trailing at 31% and retail sales coming in third with 17%.

Technology Changes the Game: While nine out of 10 salons reported they were automated in 1999, only 45 percent had access to email. We don’t know how many salons had websites at the time, because it was so rare we didn’t think to start asking until the third year of the competition. Today, all of the 200 are automated, use salon management software in the running of their businesses, and have a website.

Will this client post a five-star review for her balayage service? The answer matters for many...

Are You Raking In 5-Star Reviews? If Not, Here’s How.

by Staff

You drive by that new restaurant in town and wonder if you should give it a try. Your first step? Grabbing your phone and checking the place’s online reviews. If they’re good, you go ahead and make a reservation. If not, you probably pass. And guess what? This is exactly how prospective clients are assessing your salon.

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2019 Salons of the Year: Totalee on the Alley

Awards & Contests

2019 Salons of the Year: Totalee on the Alley

by Stacey Soble

Step into the 1920s with this speakeasy-inspired salon. As clients arrive at Totalee on the Alley, a valet greets them and directs them to a semi-hidden steel door. What's on the other side, a luxurious and exclusive vibe, has earned Totalee a Salons of Distinction honor in the 2019 Salons of the Year.

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In our video section, watch salon professionals in action, listen to the advice of salon business experts, and tour inside the world’s top salons.

2019 Salons of the Year: Salon Ludic

Awards & Contests

2019 Salons of the Year: Salon Ludic

by Stacey Soble

The gray-marbled, high-shine concrete flooring that are balanced with the masculine touch of black took boxes give Salon Ludic an eclectic feel. A high-top table where clients can relax and recharge their phones serves as a centerpiece in the salon, which has earned a Salons of Distinction honor in the 2019 Salons of the Year.

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