Star Nail's Tony & Steve Cuccio: The Magic Of Bulk Packaging

Star Nail Products has approached distributing their product in a unique and successful way that has shaken up the nail industry.

NAILS: But let’s get back to the tube. At this point you have a variety of products in tubes…  tips, your Pro-Pack, files, emery boards, brushes,  just about anything that will fit and that can be sold in bulk.

TONY: Right ... the key thing to the tube, again, is that not only is it a great marketing tool because you can see what’s in it, it enables us to package bulk. It gives the manicurist the chance to see what they are buying. So not only is it cost effective for bulk packaging, it's cost effective for the beauty suppliers to get involved and it's cost effective for in-salon retailing. Now the salon can get great prices on the items she uses most, and on those items she can retail to her customers.

Whether it is files, nail clippers or whatever, they must in order to survive in this increasing competitive environment, sell to their customers to the point that 25 percent of their income is from retailing.  We want the manicurist to buy her products from the professional beauty supplier and still have enough room to retail and make money. And unless you offer it to them in bulk, they can’t do it. And that is why the tubes are so important.

NAILS: Then to further enhance this positioning to the salons, you still maintain your private label program as well?

TONY: Definitely ... we give our customers the option of having our brand name or creating their own label in which they have the best product on the market with no minimum.

NAILS: And I understand that this approach has been styled to a certain extent from your private label cosmetic program?

STEVE: Both work together. The basics and background of private label is very familiar due to our five year experience with private label cosmetics for several large name companies. So we took the same private label theory and applied it to nails. What we end up with is whether nails or cosmetics, the manicurist knows that we have quality products and reasonable prices ... and that now she can buy in bulk and put her own name on it and really start to retail.

NAILS: Why do you think that your private label cosmetic program is so important to nail salons?

TONY: Because the nail salon cannot live off of 40 percent. Nail salons and nail technicians are used to making a lot of money, and there is no way that they are going to play with a name brand line for any more than a 40 percent markup.  If they want to make money, they can make up to 5 times that with our items and they can push their own name and salon.

NAILS: This involves all your products from polish to acrylics, from make-up to lipsticks?

STEVE: All of them, especially the cosmetics . . . they are a very high profit item for the salons. It is very easy to get into, and very profitable.

NAILS: What exactly does it take and what can you offer?

STEVE: I can put together a program for nail salons that for all purposes puts them in the cosmetic business and gives them a department store presentation that immediately establishes them in the cosmetic business in the eyes of their clientele … and they don’t have to spend thousands to do it.

For under $500, the nail salon will get a full cosmetic line complete with display and backup stock and their salon name emblazoned on the materials. This display itself is a Lucite counter top display containing a full range of products and customer convenience for self testing.  It holds over 100 different items....from lipstick, eye shadow, to brushes.

NAILS: And the long term benefits?

TONY: Is that you as a salon are building your own clientele instead of the brand name’s clientele.

STEVE: Maybe this will help explain.  Let's say you jump into selling cosmetics in your salon, and you want the insurance of selling a brand name, so you carry X.  Now you’re selling products to your customers, maybe a matching shade of lipstick to her nail polish. And this customer goes to a party, where the shade knocks out four or five other women. And do you know what she says when asked about her lipstick ... she’ll say it’s #3. Now those four or five will go out and buy X #3 where it's available...everywhere. Can you see the potential if that same salon owner carried her own name on those quality products? She not only sells it at a better mark-up, but she helps establish and build her clientele. That’s what our private label program can do for the nail salon.

NAILS: This diverse yet unified direction has become very successful, and helped in a way prove your private label theory as it applies to the industry ... but where does this position your firm now?

TONY: It puts us in the best position to be the largest nail supplier not only of nail supplies but of related items to the professional manicurist. It puts us in the middle of the fastest growing industry in the beauty industry in the best possible position. Everybody else tried to accomplish what we have done through education.  But we took the opposite approach because in our minds, the professional doesn’t need education, she needs products and she needs retail.

STEVE: The bottom line is that the manicurist is in this thing to make money, and that is what we can offer them.

TONY: Basically, if I had to summarize, I would say that Star Nail Products is here to help take the manicurist to the next step in her career. Many of our manicurists, in fact, have come to us to put them in the nail supply business. But that is what has made us what we are today ... the largest group of nail professionals in the world today.




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