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Can salons survive after lockdown?

Can we? Yes, we can! But not if you do what you’ve always done! We have woken up out of this long hard year to a ‘different world’ with a lot of our clients and potential clients having a different mindset.

Having read a current report from the Business of Fashion (a fascinating and informative website that is worth subscribing to) I am armed with some interesting stats!

With all salons shut during lockdown and so many needing to maintain their appearance and health of all of those things they usually go to professionals for help with e.g. nails, hair and skin etc., the retail sector has boomed! So, what has been happening?

Many, who, during lockdown have found that they have some time to experiment so have, often for the first time, resorted to trying out some ‘at home’ salon style treatments. Some of those have had great success so may never return to the salon. Others have had disasters so need rescuing. Many will still love the luxury of a pampering salon session so will bin their DIY kits and rush back. But maybe many will fall into the habit of both! Salon visits with home maintenance in between so fewer salon visits.

A well-known salon brand of hair colour has seen their on-line sales grow by 600%!!! An ‘at home’ manicure kit grew by 16-fold on the previous year. Other salon style brands developed a DIY kit that gave good results but nowhere near the longevity of the equivalent salon treatment.

This is good news for us as the retail sales coming from a salon-based company are adjusting to make the two complement each other. But there are far more ‘retail only’ brands and they will continue to sell and develop the DIY kits as their income has increased during lockdown and will hold onto those that like this less expensive alternative!  From a ‘nails’ point of view the retail sales of UV gel polish has done a lot of damage to the pro industry. So many more allergies, so our clients can never wear UV GP again! Plus, all the damage to try to put right!

What is the solution? Well, this is many fold! We are (or should be) the professionals here and must be able to provide our varied services much better than anything that can be done at home by the amateur.  Plus, we should be providing new and exciting services that clients will be tempted back to experience something new that they never imagined could be done! Services should be effective, efficient, cost effective and ‘jaw dropping’.

I am a big proponent (i.e. supporter) of the concept of ‘multitaskers’ and ‘judicious choices’. What do I mean by that? Multitaskers are products that do more than one thing. Good multitaskers in the hands of an educated professional can, almost, be all things to all people i.e. ‘one size does fit all’ – but only if you know what you’re doing!

‘Judicious choices’? Choose wisely! You don’t have to spend a fortune on re-branding or buying something new because you fancy trying it never mind if you have the right clientele that will want it!  This is something that happens so often in the nail sector. The nail pro is drawn to learning a new skill, for example, but doesn’t have the clientele that will want it! Know your client base and focus your new skills on what you can sell to them! Why learn how to do an ‘extreme’ nail when you mostly do ‘short and natural’ (unless you want to enter the comps that is). Make your choices wisely and from a true business point of view.

So, come on! Bump up and elevate your game! Get clients back who have grown used to DIY. Excite them, and new clients, with something new and what they never thought possible.

We need our pro sectors to grow and be successful in this ‘new world’. Let’s just go out and ‘reel them in’!!! We can do what you, at home, cannot!

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