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Monday, July 15, 2013

Rock Your Retail

      Just this morning I got a text from a salon owner friend that had this question for me.
"Where can I get handbags and jewelry to retail? I'm short a stylist and would love to increase my income."
      Well. The first hurdle is already overcome understanding this is a great way to increase your income. I absolutely love retail. It shows up every day, ready for work with a great attitude. Needs a little tending, rearranging and promoting but no training, coddling or maternity leave. After giving my friend a few trusted websites I added a few marketing ideas to make sure she sells through the inventory.

      First off put a retail rewards program in place. I use a point system. Many salon software programs are equipped to track retail sales, if you don't have a program don't sweat it. Rewards programs are easy enough to keep track of with a good old fashioned ledger. Every dollar spent is worth one point. You can have clients get points for other things as well like 5-10 points for every client referred, 5-10 points for every gift card purchased over 100 dollars. You get the idea. Every January tally up the retail points and reward with gift cards. You can set up your system however you want. I do ten dollars for every 100 spent in retail capping at thirty dollars. Put together a special Retail Rewards event to give out your gift cards or certificates . Invite all your loyal retail buyers and put together an evening of mini services, wine and cheese and special incentives to use them that night towards retail, gift cards or services.
      When you get your new retail in, set up a trunk show like the fancy designers and invite your top buyers. Eighty percent of your retail dollars come from this top twenty percent. Offer them the first look at your new items with a fun night out and encourage them to bring a friend. We usually spend more with an accomplice. Put out a nice spread with wine or a salon-tini. A specialty drink unique to your salon. The purse strings tend to loosen up with the encouragement of an adult beverage. Don't forget to reward your staff with selling bonuses. I let top sellers go to the wholesale sites and pick the item of their choice, up to $50.00. These sites usually lower their prices the more you purchase so it is a win win.
      Location is everything. Where is your retail area? Make sure you place the items in a high traffic area. Make up signs with prices, on your computer, not on post-its. Keep it classy. Many people won't ask the price if there is not one on the item. They figure it is out of their range. If you get an exceptional deal on an item think about offering an extra percentage off for your retail rewards members. Put the offer right by the item so new clients that may not be aware of your program can ask about it. Have shelf talkers on every table and station, heck even on the wall of the bathroom. Things like have you seen our hot new bags? Also put signs around the salon that say Learn how to get free products or services. When clients ask how explain your retail rewards program and make sure to sign them up. Each member of your team needs to learn the question have you seen our new?...fill in the blank. One of my former staffers sold like crazy with this simple Oh my gosh have you seen this? We all love something new. Share your enthusiasm with your clients. Having a strong retail area alleviates the daily struggle for numbers. Think outside the bottle, don't just carry oil and polish. Your clients are buying boutique items, they need to be buying them from you. Plus when their friends see their new trendy items it gets you more word of mouth traffic. So consider becoming the go to place for the latest trends, because that's smart marketing.


  1. Millie thank you for all you support and continuous effort to help those fellow nail teks in the industry. I can truly say I have been blessed by each of your blogs, since I have been following you. I can tell passion springs from all you do, and I am inspired to continue to ignite my passion and the passion of those around me. I too desire to become a nail educator and appreciate you sharing your heart and wisdom. I am sure I will be using the tools I am learning for many years to come. Thank you very much!

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    1. Sorry I posted this twice :) Thanks for your kind words. Keep reaching for the stars!