Salon Design

Displays with “Polish”

Can you use an extra $300 a month? We’ve talked to salon owners whose purchase-provoking polish displays have earned them a 30%-40% increase in their profits. No matter what your budget there’s a polish retailing solution for your business.

Rebecca Moore retails polishes directly from the salon's nail tables.
<p>Rebecca Moore retails polishes directly from the salon's nail tables.</p>


[Winthrop Harbor, Ill.] Description/price: Owner Chelly Eric asked her talented brother-in-law to create two simple wood step displays. One was stained (pictured) and another smaller step was painted white. The display picks up the wood furniture in the salon and also matches a custom-built shelving unit. All are incorporated into more elaborate displays, especially during the holidays. “My salon décor has a lot of wood and a homey feel, I thought this would be a clever way of displaying polish,” she says. She paid $40 for materials and gave her brother extra money for his time.

How the display increased retail sales: The fact that the shelves are open and it is easy to pick up the colors and look at them definitely attracts people. Also, because they are not cluttered, clients don’t feel like they will be disrupting my display by “shopping.”


[Allentown, Pa.] Description/price: Salon owner Christi Vreeland offers clients two ways to shop for polish: She uses the Mini Intro Nicole by OPI display (salon price, $109.95) to attract polish-craving clients. Her other retail line of hologram polishes is displayed in an antique box ($60) with a spotlight and other props, including fabrics ($50).

How the displays increase sales: If displays stay the same for too long, products don’t move, says Vreeland. Redecorating and rearranging displays help sales. Since she stays away from manufactured displays, her clients usually look at her products longer and tend to buy more. Clients have booked their first appointments with her after just seeing her displays and salon front.


[Erlanger, Ky.] Description/price: Salon of the Year Runner-Up Rebecca Moore retails polishes directly from the salon’s nail tables, but also has elaborate displays set up in the salon’s reception areas. She changes the displays regularly and is always changing the mix of polish and products. A particularly unique piece is the custom-made “floating” shelving display near the receptionist’s desk. The nail station displays are made of Lucite and hold polishes from three polish companies to offer clients a vast range of choices. Since the salon’s nail tables are made of stainless steel, the simple Lucite displays provide a clean, modern, and highly stylized look. The displays come already assembled, hold 30 bottles, and cost $25. They are also easy to keep clean and don’t wear. Each station has two racks.

How the display increases retail sales: Because all of the colors are easily accessible right there on the table, it is much easier to sell to clients. Moore takes time to place stickers at the bottom of each bottle that has a matching lip color, which has helped move more products. She estimates that her displays and systems have increased business by 35%-40%.

Helpful hints: She always carries the latest colors at each stationand clients are happily over whelmed by the selection.


Description/price: Generally, color collections are available in two display sizes: standard for $30 and Pinkies sizes for $39.60. The standard display has 12 1/2-oz. bottles; the Pinkies display contains six 1/8-oz. bottles.

Helpful hints: The smaller Pinkies display is good for stations due to its size; the smaller bottles are easy to sell for travelling, in-between service touch-ups, and gifts. Be sure to incorporate the displays into your own creativity. For instance, Creative’s latest colour collection features a woman in a bathtub, so you can merchandise the display with bottles of bubble bath or colored loofahs.


Display name: Colorpops Nail Polish Display

Size/price: Comes in five different sizes, ranging from a 12-pop displayfor$19.50 to an 87-pop display at $72.

Helpful hints: Since the true color of the polish is displayed on the tips, clients buy colors without hesitation — it takes the guesswork out of choosing a shade for them, says the company. It will also cut down on returns and it can help promote new colors. The display can be placed almost anywhere in the salon and can also be mounted on a wall. Each pop is removable and can be brought directly to the client so that she can compare it with her skin tone or maybe a color outfit she is trying to match. The polish display also keeps the salon from having to use tester or sample bottles, which can bite into profits. Tips are secured on each pop with industrial glue; therefore, non- acetone polish removers should be used. Nail techs can choose to display nail art and buy additional units for seasonal displays. These displays can help keep stations uncluttered with bottles and save room. It can also cut down on polish theft.


Display name: Betty BoopNail Fun Center

Description/price: The $650 display contains 24 polishes, nail decals, nail files, and key chains.

Helpful hints: Betty Boop drives in traffic because of name recognition of the character. The display’s bright colors and distinctive Betty Boop designs are eye-catching and will help lure loyal followers and passersby. For optimum performance, situate the display in the front of the salon where potential walk-ins can spot Betty Boop. Make the display more interactive by utilizing its products for promotional gifts. Use them as gifts for client referrals and give multiple discounts for those clients who buy several items at once.


Canoga Park, Calif.

Description/price: Owner Dee Nguyen says that depending on the size of the salon, it can take four hours or more to create customized displays and that the cost depends on the number of displays the salon buys. Since her salon is in Southern California, Nguyen wanted displays that could withstand earthquakes and protect her products. She opted for three $350 (each) cabinets with sliding glass doors and mirrored recesses, giving the illusion that she had an abundant polish supply that was easily accessible to clients. She uses a lot of silk vines, streamers, candles, and incense for simple enhancements to her displays. Nguyen buys only one collection of colors, but she buys them in triplicate. Therefore, she says, the clients think that she has a very large variety of shades.

How the display increased retail sales: The mirrored displays have helped increase retail sales 40%.

Helpful hints: Other technicians can create similar displays by contacting a cabinet-maker. Sometimes a picture or a sketch can get you started.


Display: Hand and Nail Care Center

Description/price: The $4,995 island displaycomes fully stocked. It is made fromwood and glass with an acrylic header. It also comes with optional casters for mobility and shelf labels. You can stock it with Nicole lacquers for the same price.

Helpful hints: All items retail and customers will find it easy to find all their hand and nail care in one, centralized location. The display also provides product literature to help aid customers with their next purchase. Place the display in the center of the room where customers can walk around it. Put it in a well-lit, high traffic area where there is high visibility. Re-stock the display every day to avoid empty spots and don’t forget to re-stock supplies as well.

GLASS & LIGHT (Boston, Mass.)

Description/price: Salon owner Cathy Boyd worked with a interior decorator and she was the one responsible for coming up with the idea of glass “cubes.” The salon owner wanted lots of natural and artificial light to go through the display to highlight products. While they are costly ($25,000 for the whole salon), the idea of using glass and light can be used in other ways to boost sales.

How they have helped increase sales: Since the displays are in the front waiting room area, the products are in front of a captive audience. Clients have said that the displays are “beautiful” and they appreciate the one-stop-shopping experience. They are impressed with the set-up because it used to be just dead space.

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