Perfect SPA/ Salon retail areas

Spas and Salons moan continually that they don’t retail enough, whatever brands they use, however I am pretty certain it is because you don’t think or operate like a retailer. I know it is a whole other job on top of an already beyond busy treatment column and salon life but if you want it you are going to have to play the game.

We are all most comfortable treating and making money from treatments but think how much easier it is physically to sell 10 Facial products a day compared to doing treatments- filling up pedicure bowls, washing them, changing towels, breaking your hands massaging etc etc… Also you can retail online while you sleep, you can’t do a manicure from your bed.

Granted retailing skincare is competitive, your clients can go online, into supermarkets or into department stores and be showered in cosmetics but being a salon is silly competitive too and it doesn’t stop you doing that.

I love selling pots and I love the psychology of buying. I have watched humans over the years at trade shows, events in stores, comparing spa retail areas to others and how they move about, react to shelves and buy or don’t buy.

This is my guide on how to improve this money making channel in your spa/salon business.

Our mantra has been to approach each retail space with an open mind and a boutique approach full of ideas and little touches. It is a passion of ours to help with the retail area and it is a real opportunity within your business to do it well as it is so often poorly done in spas and salons.

It doesn’t matter what brand you are using and selling, the basics are the same.

Your retail area needs to:

  • Tempt people to go and look
  • Ensure they test and try- in sales they believe you are 25% of the way there is they actually touch the product
  • Making it interactive- having testers with little wooden spoons, water and flannels available to test scrubs etc .
  • Testers labelled clearly
  • Pots actually open or small signs saying try me. If you do this you have to keep them clean.
  • With balm products we suggest maybe having a 5ml sample pot open so they can’t take too much. 

  • Train front of houseto get the products on to people if they have a spare moment and some thought as to how to keep it neat and tidy. If a therapist is running late the reception should be doing a little hand massage and telling the client about products.
  • Be clear to the client what things are- imagine if there were no therapist there- could they find things themselves? 
Use clear shelf signs, especially key to distinguish the facial skin types. Mark out the different body aromas, hand, foot, bath etc. Stare at it all like an alien who knows literally nothing about the brand, can you make your way around the shelves?
  • Can they access prices-they need to be able to.

  • Emphasise the key selling points of the range. For instance with Pinks Boutique it would be Results from Luxe Organic certified products. So for us it makes sense to ensure raw ingredients feature in our displays, making it a touch and feel concept. Helping people understand what natural and organic mean
    • -  Bowl of green tea or green tea bags hanging with little pegs for ocha green tea facial range
    • -  Oats and a bamboo stem near the bamboo polish. 

    • -  Have all the 4 body oil aromas with small bowls and the matching ingredients as we do on the training- roses/mint leaves/ lemongrass stem/ dried orange. 

  • Changing the display concept or a good feature within it every 4-6 weeks. You need to make it look different for regulars to be interested. I know this seems like a pain in the bum but John Lewis or Tesco will regularly do this and that is how they attract consumers. Spas and salons moan they don’t sell product but they won’t act like a retailer. You can’t have it both ways.
  • Make the client walk around the area.Ideally we feel the space would work best if it is not a straight line of shelves but a set up 
that the client has to walk in and round. You need to make the area as close to walking around a beauty department hall as you can- on a very mini scale!!!
  • Use furniture that may not specifically be retail furniture- dressers/ dressing tables/ wardrobes with shelves fitted in.This will make it instantly more interesting.
  • Expand these ideas out of the retail areaWindows, Reception, changing rooms, toilets- put the POS there too, get product dummies to display with the POS. 

  • Treatment room- this is a much-underused space. You should at minimum have a shelf with some product dummies and a sign saying ‘Continue the results at home- take me with you’. Available to purchase 

  • Avoid any tatty looking signageIf you print your own signs up this can instantly look more sleek and professional by putting 
them in a photo frame or one of our Thai acrylic frames- available in A6/A5 and A4. Salons and Spas hate paying for these but it means you can have ongoing great looking retail signage. You only need to invest once.

  • Expand Shelf Space with Shelf Furniture. Small sets of steps, hero blocks and display stands to give you more room for bottles within one shelf and make it look much more appealing. Again, just something you need to bite the bullet and invest in.
  • Link the area to treatments also- you want to sell both.Use signage- eg. ‘Organic Body balm as used in our Award winning Body Power Massage’
  • Don’t stick posters up with bluetac or cello tape.They will always look cheap and terrible. Put them in frames 

  • Choose a brand who makes you new artwork. This is tricky for you to do on top of everything else. When choosing your new partner brands make sure you get examples of artwork and how frequently they produce new artwork for you. How do they sent it to you, can you have the artwork files and adapt them if you want to.
  • What are your brand’s online policies.It is totally normal for the master brand to have it’s own website but you don’t want to be putting all your hard work and skin knowledge doing treatments, giving clients advise and then they sod off and buy it cheaper online. Don’t choose a brand who 1) Will discount or have offers on the same products you have on their site without you getting the matching deal. 2) Sell to 3rdparty sites who will do this.
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