Retail

Raising the Ceiling on Retail Profits

To make money selling retail, you’ve got to commit-commit to allotting space for displaying your ware, commit to providing incentives for technicians, and commit to patiently building your business.

Although people in the nail industry exhort nail technicians to start retailing, technicians want to see that retailing really works and can bring in enough income to make it worth their while. We asked several salon owners with successful retail operations to show us just how profitable salon retailing can be. After looking at the photos of their retail areas, and seeing that retail accounts for nearly 20% of these salons’ gross income, and 50% for one, you may come to the same conclusion yourself.

Successful Selling is Need-Based

Charles Penzone, owner of Charles Penzone The Grand Salon in Dublin, Ohio, holds a company-wide competition every May to encourage employees to sell more products.

Number of Retail Lines: 30 nail care, 3 skin care, 5 hair care

Best-seller: hand lotion

Sales Commission: 10%

Type of Retail Display: shelves covering an entire wall in the nail room.

Percentage of Gross Receipts Accounted for by Retail Sales: 16%

Estimated Growth in Retail Sales from 1992 to 1993: 4%

Most Successful Nail Promotions: seasonal, such as spring or fall lines

Best Month for Retail: May

Secret to Successful Retailing: Technicians are trained to sell retail products based on clients’ needs only. “You’re going to be successful at retailing as long as you sell what someone needs,” says Lisa Thompson, Charles Penzone’s executive vice president. “You’re not successfully retailing when you sell something just for the sake of selling.”

An old fashioned credenza adds a warm touch to the display of product at Gadabout's Speedway location. 
<p>An old fashioned credenza adds a warm touch to the display of product at Gadabout's Speedway location.&nbsp;</p>

Technicians Need Incentive to Sell

Jensen’s Studio of Nails, owned by Joanne Jensen, is located in a 2,500-square-foot house in Phoenix, Artz. Alcoves throughout the house feature various retail products.

Number of Retail Lines: 20 nail care, 2 skin care, 3 hair care

Best seller: nail polish

Technicians Sales Commission: a graduated scale of 15%, 20%, and 25% once specific amounts are reached

Type of Retail Display:  an entire wall of shelves in the waiting area plus alcoves placed throughout the salon

Percentage of Gross Receipts Accounted for by Retail Sales: 20%   

Estimated Growth in Retail Sales from 1992 to 1993: 5%  

Most Successful Nail Promotion: does not do promotions 

Best Months for Retail: November and December 

Secret to Successful Retailing: Jensen uses the graduated commission scale to encourage technicians to sell products.

Sell Products Technicians Use

Marie and Bruno von Haas own The Nail Parlor in Aurora, Colo. Number of Retail Lines: 10 nail care, I skin care

Best-Seller: lotion    

Sales Commission: 10%     

Type of Retail Display: a bar-type unit with shelves located in the seating area        

Percentage of Gross Receipts Accounted for by Retail Sales: 16%   Estimated Growth in Retail Sales from 1992 to 1993: 4%   

Most Successful Nail Promotions: September giveaway to regular clients 

Best Month for Retail: sales are consistent throughout the year 

Secret to Successful Retailing: Nail technicians at The Nail Parlor sell the products they use on their clients. The clients buy them because they know the products work well.      

Good Products Results Equal Sales

 Retail sales at Face Works Ltd. in Greensborro, N .C., benefit from owners Pam Springer and Jones started their European day spa in August 1992.

 Number of Retail Lines: 3 nail care but narrowing down to 1, 2 skin care, 1 hair care  

Best-Seller: nail polish 

Sales Commissions: 3% 

Type of Retail Display: a round table in the reception area with overhanging shelves 

Percentage of Gross Receipts Accounted for by Retail Sales: 50%  

Estimated Growth in Retail Sales from 1992 to 1993: 20%-30% 

Most Successful nail Promotion: giving away samples of what the client needs Best Month Month for Retail: December  

Secret to Successful Retailing: Springer and Jones believe in being honest and giving clients only what they need. They do not support overselling, “clients have to see results,” Springer says. “If your product is good, clients believe in you.”

Quality, Promotions, and Employee Involvement Work

Gadabout Hair, Skin, Nails, and Day Spa, owned by Pam McNair, has four locations throughout Tucson, Ariz., as well as a central office.          

Number of Retail Lines: 5 nail care, 2 skin care, 2 hair care

Best-Sellers: quick-dry nail polish; hand cream 

Sales Commissions: 10% 

Type of Retail Display: large six-shelf units in three salons, an entire wall of shelving in the other salon   Percentage of Gross Receipts Accounted for by Retail Sales: 15% 

Estimated Growth in Retail Sales from 1992 to 1993: too early to estimate   

Most Successful Nail Promotion: a drawstring bag filled with a miniature orange stick, a 1-oz, nail polish remover, two nail polishes, a top coat, and lotion  

Best Month for Retail: December

Secret to Successful Retailing: According to Earnest Padilla, marketing and education director for Gadabout, three aspects work together in successful retailing: employee involvement, aggressive promotions, and quality products, Employees are encouraged to sell by earning a commission and having the opportunity to win prizes for selling the most during a promotion. Aggressive promotions inform clients about what products are offered and how well they work. “You have to always have something new promotions.”

 Focus on Solving Clients’ Problems

Lynne Doueck, owner and sole employee of Nails, Etc. in Jacksonville, Fla, works out of a small executive office in a business park. 

Number of Retail Lines: 4 nail care   

Best-Seller: top coat 

Sales Commission: not offered  

Type of Retail Display: an eight-foot shelf unit with four shelves and a lower cabinet 

Percentage of Gross Receipts Accounted for by Retail Sales: 15% 

Estimated Growth in Retail Sales from 1992 to 1993: 3%- 5%  

Most Successful Nail Promotion: buy one polish at full price and receive another at half price 

Best Month for Retail: December  

Secret to Successful Retailing: Doueck sells products by determining a client’s needs and helping her solve her problems. She works one-on-one with each client.

Required: A Clean, Well-Stocked Salon

Nail Tech, owned by Pat and Doug Walker and located in Chino, California, offers a money bag guarantee for most products 

Number of Retail Lines: 15 nail care, I skin care 

Best- Seller: nail polish 

Sales Commission: 10% 

Type of Retail Display: one slow wall in reception area, a six-foot high display in the middle of the salon, and two round tables in the front that feature products 

Percentage of Gross Receipts Accounted for by retail Sales: 15%

Estimated Growth in Retail Sales from 1992 to 1993: down 3%

Most Successful Nail Promotion: selling Valentine’s Day or Christmas charms for three for $12 one for $5 

Best Months for Retail: November and December 

Secret to Successful Retailing: Pat Walker emphasizes that salons must look like they are in the retail business. She believes salons must be clean and well stocked. “There is nothing worse than a broken, ugly, dirty box sitting there that’s been for year,” Walker says.

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