Salon Spa Business Information for Salons and Spas

Building Your Retail Business

03.18.2014 · Posted in Articles

From my experience I find that most salon owners spend the major part of their efforts and marketing dollars building and promoting the treatment or service side of their business. And forget that a balanced beauty business’s revenue should be part treatment part retail sales. In fact a good balance would be somewhere like 60% treatment to 40% retail sales. If your business is not achieving this type of split then you may need to further develop the retail component.


I believe that retailing the correct skin care to enhance the customer’s skin health is not only necessary for the customer’s long term results but also for your bottom line profit results. Therefore if 40% of your profits could be coming from the selling of salon strength skin care and make-up it goes without saying that stocking the right products to service your customers should be part of your business plan.

I suggest you take a leaf out of the major department stores book. See how they position cosmetics and skin care stock it’s usually centre front position with great lighting and visual displays. Stock is plentiful and in addition the higher selling ranges and products will have the prime selling position.

On the other hand most salon owners will have designed their floor layout for functionality and performance of treatments with some additional space for the reception, nail bar and retail comes in last. Retail sales will always directly relate to the space, position, merchandising displays, product knowledge and retail techniques. So if only 10% of space and effort is devoted to retailing then expect that retail sales will make up about 10% of salon sales.

Now while it may not be possible at this stage to redesign your salon layout it may be possible to make better use of space, lighting and displays so that products are highlighted and customers are more aware that it is a skin care retail centre. Not just a treatment service salon. It could also be a good time to have your team’s product knowledge refreshed and some additional selling skills training provided.

The other way that department stores generate a huge volume of sales is through their “Gift with Purchase” offerings. Hopefully your product suppliers provide this at least a couple of times per year. But if this is not the case then you may need to be creative and design your own Gift with Purchase campaign. The most cost effective way is to make good use of suppliers “buy in deals”. Most will have a two-for-one deal every so often. Make use of these by creating your own Gift with Purchase i.e. Buy any two products and receive (the two-for-one-deal) product free as a special gift.

Another way to increase retail sales is to offer a complimentary Express Analysis with every lash tint. Make sure at the time of booking the offer is made and your therapists say “Can I also book you in for an Express Analysis it only takes a few minutes extra. It’s a complementary service we offer to support our customer’s skin health”. And remember it’s a numbers game so while you may get a few “no’s” you will also get some yes’s that will lead to both treatment and retail sales.

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