Salon Retail – How much *should* you stock?

Boost Salon Retail profitability by measuring your speed of sale
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Let me start by saying: I have misgivings about salon retail. I’m really not convinced that carrying professional products for retail sale is the amazing financial boost to your business that our manufacturers and suppliers want us to believe in.

First, I question the reasons salons give for carrying professional retail. “Because we want to use professional products on our customers”. So go ahead! Doesn’t mean you have to sell them though. “Because we know that aftercare is important”. Yup. I know. It really is. Doesn’t mean your clients have to buy products from you though. Essentially, I think the *real* reason salons carry retail is simply: because that’s what salons do.

Problem is, following the lead of other salons is a fool’s errand. My estimate (and I have nothing but gut feel to back this up) is that ~70% of salons break even or worse. That means just 30% are actually making any money. Therefore copying the strategy of another salon makes no sense. In fact, you probably have a higher likelihood of success by doing the opposite.

My second problem with salon retail is that most salons are overstocked. Partly this is due to the bullying tactics of manufacturers and suppliers who convince us that we should carry the entirety of their range, and in fact hold multiple ranges, despite that range being comprehensive enough to market to the entire world and you only serving a pretty niche slice of it. They frown on attempts to discontinue individual products and blame sale technique or product knowledge for poor sales. No, Mr Big-Inc – it’s just that my target clients don’t have that type of hair/skin/whatever.

To that end, check out this week’s video. I take you through a simple calculation that is sadly often missing from our fancy salon software systems: speed of sale. This will help you keep more of the products that sell and help you decide which products to reduce the count of or discontinue.

Helpful? Let me know! Join the conversation on the BuildYourSalon Facebook page here. Check out my other blogs here.

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