Which Brands To Stock in Your Beauty Salon

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I’ve spoken before about choosing brands for a salon – making sure you focus on what makes a profit for you, rather than relying on the hearsay of a few people as to what is the best brand, or worse still listening to a sales rep telling your how popular a product is.

Since joining the world of running beauty salons, I have seen that most salons place importance on which skincare brand they attach themselves to with Dermalogica being the main player.

Over time we removed Gatineau from one of our salons and now we have decided to remove another premium brand – Decleor.

As much as I love Decleor products (and I have to say I also like our rep) we have seen more clients coming into the salon for a facial and the expert advice, then going home to buy the products online or off QVC.

As a business, we simply can’t afford to run like that.

A Facial is a Facial

Not all beauty products are the same, I understand that. But, coming into this industry from the outside, I also reckon many of the skincare brands over-complicate things – compared to how a customer sees things. I have heard therapist / new client conversations where the client is overwhelmed by the choice of facials when all they want is “a facial”.

Add into the mix the complexity of some of the names of skincare products and facial treatments and I think it puts many people off – it creates a barrier to entry that can make some people feel intimidated.

Salons V Spas

Most high street salons are not placed to offer the ultimate relaxing treatment compared to hotels and spas, which is a paradox because [in my experience]salon therapists tend to be better.

And, while I understand many of the brands have a place in the spas, I think salons need to think very carefully about how they make money. IE. If you had no brand at all, would it really make a difference, especially if you worked hard building your own salon brand and reputation!

The Numbers Decision

This pie chart shows a three month period for all treatments in one of our salons. As you can see Decleor treatments makes up a very small portion. In fact, if you add together all the branded skincare treatments we do, it’s still only 7.4% of our income.

Pie Chart for salon treatment breakdown

Summary

Every salon and spa is different so these rules (like all rules) shouldn’t apply to all salons and spas. But, when you turn on QVC and see your luxury brand being sold cheaper that you sell it; or, when buying your favourite skincare product online is CHEAPER than you can but it directly from the company wholesale, you know there is an issue.

St Tropez is another one – it’s cheaper for us to buy in Superdrug on the constant offers than to buy wholesale.

Retail is changing, which is why we are focusing more and more on our treatments, loyalty and add-ons, with products there to improve our chances of making the treatment sale.

While your brand ‘partners’ may claim to support your business, they are more keen to sell direct at higher profit margins. On one hand, who can blame them; but they are also biting the hand that feeds them… the one that made them a recognised name in the first place.

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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.

3 Comments

  1. Hello ,

    Thank you for publishing this article , very interesting .

    First of all , i would like to say that the success of the salon or spa depends on how you manage it and what kind of the experience you deliver to customers . Excellent services garantee success.

    Talking about products , you need to know what your clientele wants, also identify and understand your target , retrieve general categories of data such as ;
    Demographic characteristics
    Socioeconomic characteristics
    Geographic characteristics
    Psychographic characteristics. How potential clients see you
    Service-related characteristics
    I suggest a good Software .

    I will personally never choose Dermalogica for my Salon and definitely ever for a Spa .

    I believe the QVC is not a problem, if you believe in yourself and your staff is trained to recommend the products NOT sell them .

    I have been working in the Spa Industry for almost 22 years and have a salon .. none of my clients are buying the products online or on QVC .. The attention and the service received increase their trust towards the therapists therefore more profit .

    Moreover, a Beauty Salon is more profitable than a Spa , and you are right the salon therapists tend to be better than the Spa therapists . If i have to choose, i would have my body treatment done by a Salon therapist and perhaps I will go back and become a regular client ..it all depends how confident , knowledgeable and skilled she is .

    Anna
    I

  2. I agree totally with this article, Irun a small business from home and no-body questions the brand I use which is not one of the luxury brands. Further, if you think they I’ll buy from you when they can get it cheaper online you are wrong, no-one will admit to it but they do. Thanks for the honest article.

  3. Angela Doran on

    I’m in the process of setting up my own beauty room and was wondering if you could recommend a good skincare range to use for facials? Many thanks for any help you can provide, it’s much appreciated.

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