Retailing In Beauty Salons


I once heard that in salons, retail sales make up to 40% of the profit of the business. Personally, I’m not so sure they do, but there’s no doubt that improving retail sales in your beauty salon is a sure fire way to increase profits. Not to mention developing happier customers who benefit from great aftercare products.

But, beware, increasing your retail activity also introduces a need to carefully manage salon retail stock – otherwise, you could end up with beauty products sitting on your shelves for months [and years]to come.

Ignore The Reps

When we first took over one of our salons, I was introduced to a new [to me] skincare brand. The Rep from the skincare company would come in every couple of months to sell new products and get as much info as she could on how many of her treatments we had been doing.

The previous owner of the salon had taken most of what was told to her as read and would buy the latest skincare products and beauty gift sets that she’d been told were ‘flying off the shelf’.

As I learned more, I noticed three things that made me say “stop!”

  • Some of the products on our shelves had old style packaging for that brand, which meant they had been on the shelves for at least 18 months.
  • When the Rep came, she would leave with a big retail order – every time.
  • When I searched online for this ‘premium salon brand’ I noticed it was being heavily discounted, both by other online beauty retailers, as well as the brand themselves, selling their skincare products on QVC shopping channel.

Learning What Sells

This co-incided with the installation of a new salon computer system, which allowed us to see how many of each product was selling. Even more scary for the manager of the salon was when we went through and did an initial stock-check to see how much stock we had sitting on our shelves. We had well over £1000 worth of a the skincare brand alone (purchase price).

Over the next couple of months, we let the stock run down and started to build patterns of the products that sold on a regular basis.

Only Stock Sellers In Your Salon

It’s unrealistic for a small beauty salon to stock all of the items its suppliers offer. Forn instance, there are over 200 Jessica Nail Polishes – it would be foolish to stock them all in a salon.

We created a salon stock list of products we have learned will sell and it’s now under constant review. This is based on what actually happens in our salon.

Every Salon Is Different

It’s worth mentioning that even in our three salons, different products sell better in different salons. You must find out what works in yours.

How Dare You Not Sell

When selling products in a salon you should never assume what is cheap and what is expensive for a client. That is for them to decide.

I once heard a conversation in one of our beauty salons about a lady who had come in for a beauty treatment, was not recommended any products, so went off to a drugstore and bought a cheap product, which did not give the desired result. She was delighted that the next therapist she had had taken the time to explain the products that she should buy. She then went on and spent more on products than the treatment itself.

When you do not recommend beauty products to clients and do not sell any products, you are potentially doing a diservice to that person.

Selling Techniques

I am going to write more about retail selling as I know some people see it as an impossible task. If you have any questions, please comment below.


About Author

Working in Hampshire (UK), I have a beauty business with four salons. I'm the guy that sits in the office doing marketing and numbers. My experiences are based on these skills.


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