Dominic Michael Salon Finds the Key To Effective Retailing

Success in retailing is a goalpost that keeps moving. No matter how well you’re doing, there’s always more to achieve. Dominic Michael Salon, with two locations in St. Louis, has been more successful than most at capturing the wily retail dollar. Owners Dominic Bertani and Catherine Wilson say it’s all about loyalty.

“We’re very brand exclusive,” says Wilson. The salons only carry L’Oréal Professionnel and Kérastase, which Wilson says gives her stylists a solid foundation. “They know the products inside and out so they can fully recommend without feeling like a product pusher,” she explains. A shotgun strategy of carrying many brands dilutes the significance of each, says Bertani, while also diminishing the credibility of stylists’ recommendations. “Focus your resources instead and see what benefits come from that,” he says.

That loyalty extends to Dominic Michael associates and staff, who are fully supported with promotions and programs that help them succeed. “We make sure the staff recognizes how retail sales impact their earning potential, and enable them to track sales daily,” says Bertani. That compensation is generous, with a sliding scale that goes up to 22 percent of product sales for those who retail in excess of $1,000 in a two-week period. “We have quite a few stylists who hit that top level every time,” says Wilson. It also includes prizes in the form of educational travel, which fosters a healthy spirit of competition, and meetings where stylists are recognized for hitting personal bests.  

Effectively promoting retail deals to clients is another way Bertani and Wilson give stylists an assist when it comes to retailing. A recent email blast to existing clients promoted the launch of L’Oréal’s Pro Fiber line by offering complimentary backbar treatments and special pricing on retail home care packages. “We had amazing results,” Wilson says. “I sent the email from my office and by the time I’d walked to the front desk, all four lines were lit up with clients wanting to book.” 

The salon also has a private Facebook group where it posts marketing pieces that the staff can share on their own social media sites, taking ownership of the promotion to their clientele but with messaging that works for the salon brand. 

Finally, there’s loyalty to the community. The salon is a regular fixture at local fashion week shows and charity events, creating goodwill that, if not directly translatable to retail sales, certainly elevates the reputation of the entire enterprise. Says Bertani: “We’re very present in the community, promoting our services, our stylists and our products in a way that supports our brand.”