Business Management

What's Happening to Mom and Pop?

Manufacturers are fond of saying that the mom-and-pop salon is becoming extinct; that there will no longer be mid-range salons, only luxury day spas and bargain salons.

Manufacturers are fond of saying that the mom-and-pop salon is becoming extinct; that there will no longer be mid-range salons, only luxury day spas and bargain salons. “Decide what you want to be, “they warn,” and then be the best.” I have to agree that there is polarization going on in the industry — and it's happening to manufacturers as well as salons.

It seems that manufacturers are faced with a quandary: Do they go all out with their commitment to the nail professional and offer a full complement of education, technical assistance, business and marketing support, and new product introductions several times a year and thus be able to justify their higher prices? Or do they go bargain basement and cut their educational programs (or never develop them in the first place), use unin¬spired packaging, develop me-too products at me-too prices, and select distributors in¬discriminately (not based on the services they're able to provide nail professionals)?

Is there a middle ground for manufacturers? Is there enough actual difference in the products that nail technicians use that a company can carve out a place for itself and stay afloat on a simple product line? Will nail technicians put a value on (and pay for) a com¬pany's long-term commitment to the industry and be loyal to such a company? Will nail technicians pay for the development of educational programs and will they attend class¬es? Will nail technicians use (or at least read) the creative marketing materials made avail¬able to them designed to help them make more money? Do nail technicians pay atten¬tion to the fact that some companies are involved outside the nail industry and give generously to causes unrelated to nail care?

There is a middle ground, I believe, for both manufacturers and nail professionals. And both are going to have to make a decision about what they want to be — then do that well.

 

Keywords:   discount salons     spas  

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