“The chair and suite rental tsunami has hit the US salon market. While independent artistic salons catering to high-end clients will always play an important role in the professional salon industry marketplace, this business model will continue to lose market share to booth/chair rentals and chain salons,” says Cyrus Bulsara, president of PCR. “The most likely outcome will be the evolution of new hybrids that combine the best client- and stylist-centric practices from all business models.”
Major study highlights include the following findings:
· Sola Salon Studios, with 240 suite rental salons in 36 states, offers luxurious suites, business management support and education to support independent stylists. Salon Suite franchise organizations are transforming the salon landscape with the fastest growth.
· Independent stylists strongly drive sales at open-line Sally stores and full-service sales at Beauty Systems Group/Cosmoprof, Salon Centric and other distributor stores. Purchasing habits/inventory needs are distinctly different from other models.
· Chair/Suite rentals continue rapid growth in most U.S. regions, as clients follow their stylists for personalized, private services, and move away from big, older, chain salons like Regis. Mid-tier chains, including jcp Salons, Toni & Guy, and Ratner brands such as Hair Cuttery, are under pressure.
· Consumers perceive little difference/value between salon types that provide consistent stylist skills, ambiance and service.
· Manufacturers and distributors need a sales/marketing strategy for each group of rental salons/stylists targeted. Strategies and tactics for rethinking packaging, promotional and pricing strategies are suggested. Tech tools/e-commerce needs are addressed.
· Affordable business management tools are easily accessible to independent stylists, who are using their mobile devices to manage their businesses with new technological productivity tools, management apps and referral platforms.
· Mobile friendly online booking, marketing and payment processing tools such as My Chair App, Salon Booker, Squared, Schedulicity, Style Seat, Vagaro are heavily utilized by independents to compete with both chain and independent salons.
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