Part of the appeal of the old-fashioned candy counter was the brilliant display methods, says Julie Shepperly, director of education for Milady. “They put everything front and center, bold and beautiful. Samples were displayed for you to taste test and associates encouraged you to try several selections.” You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, she says, to create an appealing retail space in your business. Here are Shepperly’s 10 steps for creating a retail center that screams “eye candy.”

1. Create a retail shopping center. Remove two of the six reception chairs you have and add retail center space. Ideally, dedicate at least 25% of your salon space.

2. Pick a line, any line, but just pick one. Stop buying bits and pieces of product lines. It dilutes your buying power and causes confusion with your clients.

3. Use your sales reps. They are trained to support you in effectively displaying your product. Next time they come into your salon schedule an appointment so they can help.

4. Don’t forget to display everywhere — in the bathroom, the changing room, the reception counter, and the color bar. Clients love to shop when you aren’t looking. Have samples available for them to try when your back is turned. This will encourage impulse sales.

5. Promotions! Promotions! Promotions! Every month you should be highlighting some service and special retail item.

6. Make it “pop.” Your retail center should say “buy me!” not “clean me!” All products should be straightened, pulled front and center, and cleaned weekly.

7. Educate your team on how to retail to their customers. Use the what, why, how system of retailing. Set individual and team goals.

8. Organize and stay on budget. Carefully track your retail sales and purchases. You should be spending 50% of your previous week’s retail sales on new purchases this week. If you don’t, you can run into shortage problems. If you spend more than that you are probably running into a shortage of storage space.

9. Expose it. Whatever you want to move should be right in front of your customer and within arms reach. Don’t hide sale items or push them to the bottom shelf. They have to see it to buy it.

10. Involve the team. They are creative geniuses and there is at least one of your team members who would love to support you in creating fabulous displays. Have a contest. Let each team member create a display, track the results, and vote on the best. Give prizes.

For more business tips or for business consulting services, contact Milady at (800) 998-7498, ext. 2700 or visit

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