High End Retail Environments

Ministry of sales

Here, in the first of a new series, our retail expert Matthew Lutos speaks out on retailing for success.

Matthew Lutos is the Managing Director of Vision Salons. Whilst he loves nothing more than talking about why his furniture is as good as it gets. Matthew’s background is in designing high-end retail environments, so competing for sales is something he truly gets.

“Why on earth would any hairdresser want to start selling products for a living? It’s a creative trade, right? Well, not exactly – firstly, retailing can boost your turnover greatly, and secondly its part of the professional service that as a haircare expert, you really should be offering.

Those salons that have mastered the art of retailing you’ll notice have never looked back – they just quietly keep going and make their profits rise. Those that think it’s less relevant, not creative – think again.

The beauty business is far more competitive than any other sector. Think about the environment in a department store beauty hall – they are all competing for the consumer’s attention. It’s no different for a hair salon though – you’re competing with the chemists, other salons, the supermarkets and even the £1 store!

The first thing you need to do is look at the current retail products that you are offering. Think about the selection and if you are displaying a balance of products. If you’ve got six hairsprays on sale that all do the same thing, then you’ll confuse the consumer.

Make sure all your products are signposted really clearly, with the basic information on each point of sale tag. Consumers want to know what the product is, what it does, if it’s suitable for their hair type and how much it costs. Establish that it’s worth paying for.

Always price every item. It’s crucial. Remember the old saying if you have to ask the price you can’t afford it? I don’t believe this is true in the slightest. But people don’t like to be embarrassed by asking.

Make your display look like the products are worth the investment. Think about when you shop in luxury stores or in duty free. Often you buy the same item that you could buy elsewhere, but if the shopping experience captures you, and then you’ll part with your cash. A salon is no different. Using high quality retail units is a must. Furniture is built to last – we have been manufacturing for more than 100 years, so we understand how to build stylish furniture that will stand the test of time. It’s simply not worth buying cheap salon furniture unless you are prepared to replace it a year or so later.

Once you’ve invested in the right products and the right retail display units you’re half way there. However retailing is an ongoing process and needs to be a constant focus for it to work.”

Salon Innovation by Matthew Lutos