Hand-in-Hand Partnership: Making Over One Salon's Profitability (part 4)

by Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP | November 1, 1999

Editor’s note: This is the fourth installment in a series of articles that are a collaborative effort between Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, executive vice president of OPI Products, and the staff at Secrets Salon in Long Beach, Calif. NAILS has been following the salon since it began OPI’s The Edge business training program in February. Previous articles are in the April, July, and September 1999 issues.

It’s always exciting to be able to watch a salon grow and prosper with a little input from the educational programs manufacturers like OPI provide. That’s exactly what Secrets Salon in Long Beach, Calif., has been doing ever since we began our partnership in early 1999.

When Nadine Galli, OPI’s Southern California Regional Manager, visited Secrets for their monthly status meeting, she walked into a salon that was bustling with clients engaged in a myriad of salon services. The same clients were also leaving the salon having purchased the OPI retail products the salon now sells.

Nail lacquer, in particular, was a hot item. And, it’s not surprising. Industry studies show that the number one salon retail item is not shampoo and conditioner. It’s nail lacquer. Regardless of the size of your salon, whether you are an independent contractor, a smaller business, or a large, full-service establishment, a huge profit potential exists with the professional beauty industry’s number one impulse purchase product—and one of the industries least expensive salon retail items.

How much satisfaction does $6 buy? Plenty, if your client’s discovery is the perfect shade of nail lacquer that provides an ego boosting, inexpensive beauty lift. Multiply $6 by the number of clients you see each week. That’s the power of retailing.

Now that they’ve gotten into the habit of talking to their clients about the latest OPI Nail Lacquer shades, the staff at Secrets is anxiously awaiting the new colors of the OPI Hollywood Collection and Nicole Love Struck Limited Edition shades for fall. “The fun shade names, like I’m Not Really A Waitress and Tinsel Town Taupe, really help the shades to sell, because they are so memorable,” says Galli.

The technicians at Secrets have discovered that they have the most success calling attention to new nail lacquer shades and oilier retail items by placing a focus product on their workstation each week. “Customers can’t help but touch a product and ask about it when they see it on our table,” comments Cheryl McCowan, Secrets’ spokesperson. “The fun shade names have already begun a buzz at the salon,” she reports.

Since our last Secrets update, McCowan has met her goal of increasing her client base, the other techs have steadily increased their retail sales, and remember that technician who thought she was too shy to retail? Now she’s retailing more than she ever thought possible.                          

And, Secrets is also expanding its service menu by welcoming Linda Edwards to the team, an experienced, licensed nail technician specializing in nails, electrolysis, and permanent makeup.

As with every seasonal launch, OPI recently previewed the new shades in its Hollywood Collection to the editors and press at a luncheon held, of all places, in the Shirley Temple room at 20th Century Fox – the historical site of neatly a century of filmmaking and movie stars. Says Galli, “Secrets and other salons will benefit by the resulting editorial mentions in the most popular consumer magazines.”


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