Retail Therapy

The recently released Retail Management for Salons & Spas by Milady, International Spa Association and iSpa Foundation (Milady, 2012) aims to provide beauty pros with a clear understanding of what it takes to run a profitable retail business while overseeing the day-to-day operations of a salon or spa. The chapter “The Art and Science of Retail” outlines five reasons retailing is an essential component of any salon’s business:

Retail extends the benefits of services and treatments. People come to salons and spas for the same reasons they visit coaches, trainers and personal shoppers, and they expect the same level of professional advice. Not recommending products you know will solve a beauty and wellness challenge is doing a disservice.

You provide a one-stop shop for clients’ needs. A well-planned, easily accessible retail space can become reason alone for visiting your salon or spa.


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It fulfills clients’ desires to shop. Many people like to shop and receive emotional satisfaction by merely browsing and engaging their senses of sight, smell and touch.

Retail promotes the brand identity of the salon or spa. The products that guests take home from the salon or spa are tangible connections to the business that can increase the likelihood that they will return.

The salon is supported with additional revenue at higher margins than services. Retail offers a greater profit margin simply because of the markup potential, and it supports the overall business by increasing financial sustainability so that it can continue to provide or expand its services. —K.F.


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