Management Practices

Salon Owners on Retailing Efforts

Lauren Salapatek | July 10, 2011 | 3:21 PM

Partaking in smart merchandising can help your salon sell more. Displaying a cohesive retail line, with strategic placing, and a dash of creativity can make your salon's products pop out to the client. Salon Today asked these salon owners about their retailing efforts.

James Entwisle and Stan Aaberg
Owners of Salon Visio
( Hood River, OR

Zanya Gissler
Owner of Zanya Spa Salon Corp.
( Lambertville, NJ

Laurie Kvech Schroeder
Owner of Salon Laurie & Company
( Baltimore, MD

Sue Burkholder
Owner of Salon Art-tiff
( Ephrata, PA

How often do you switch up your retail displays?
James & Stan: Our "core" "basic" or "primary" retail displays are regularly changed depending on: if a product line introduces a new or special limited edition piece, or if they want to change the flow of their assortment. Our product focus areas are changed monthly, which gives our retail area freshness and movement.

Zanya: We completely change our retail displays every two months, but make small changes weekly, and sometimes even more frequently depending when new merchandise comes in. This may mean making new color stories for our accessories, pairing items differently, or simply rearranging the locations of the vignettes within the boutique.

Laurie: At least every six weeks. We have them above all hair stations, in the shampoo area, the bathroom, hallway into the spa, and in the Tranquility area. The large windows in the front of the salon show displays that are seen from the street/ sidewalk.

Sue: Two to three times per year.
Whose responsibility is it to create the retail displays?
James & Stan: Either our salon staff or us. Stan knows what sells and how to make it look promotional, while James knows the trends and what's hot in the hair world.

Zanya: I ultimately assume the responsibility for retailing for two main reasons: I have a clear vision of our particular esthetic, and secondly, I really enjoy doing it. Our front desk team also works with me to make sure the boutique remains a dynamic environment.

Laurie: Most of the time, I do the displays. I love to create displays that feature the month's promotion and are eye-catching!

Sue: I create a lot of the retail displays along with one of my employees at the front desk. I try to find creative people to help.
Where do you find inspiration/guidance?
James & Stan: The largest assets we have and use the most are the brands themselves. We look at what's hot in the periodicals, noticing what and how something is being presented. We look at the salons we see as the trendsetters, and watch how they display their product. We find inspiration at the higher-end retailers and look for a way to deliver that "feeling" of achievable luxury to our guests.

Zanya: I take inspiration from everything I see: celebrities on the red carpet, trade magazines, other retailers, nature and by just people watching. I am continuously inspired by the creativity of people I work with here everyday.

Laurie: I work off of many different inspirations. My leadership team meets a couple times a year to plan unique ideas for promotions around the seasons, holidays, a new product launch or a specific service. Displays are created based on these decisions.

Sue: I took a business class that taught me how to retail and how to market my salon's products. This consists of a small description in a picture frame next to the display so that clients will know what they are looking at. I also visit other retail stores at the mall and I get ideas that way.
Which retail lines do you carry?
James & Stan: Aveda, Bumble and bumble, Oribe and Kerastase.
Zanya: L'Oréal, Aveda, SkinCeuticals and Dermalogica. We have many other suppliers for everything from jewelry and clothing to hair accessories and scarves…probably over 20 other lines at any one time.
Laurie: My own Salon Laurie Brand, Aquage, Gage for Men, Dermaware, SpaRitual and OPI.
Sue: Private labels, L'Oréal Professionnel, Youngblood and various others.
What is the square footage of your retail space?
James & Stan: Approximately 350 square feet.
Zanya: It's approximately 680 square feet out of our 6,700 square feet of space.
Laurie: 250 square feet.
Sue: 600 square feet.

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