Beauty Store Business

SEP 2017

Beauty Store Business provides solutions for better retailing! New products, industry news, savvy business moves and important trends affecting both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are included in each issue.

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60 September 2017 | We've rounded up the expert advice of industry pros who know a thing or two about selling beauty products both in brick-and-mortar stores and online. Although 44 percent of consumers did their shopping online in 2016, according to the NRF, a still-solid 40 percent made their purchases at store locations. Every season, Katie Krentz, a buyer at Cos Bar, collaborates with the com- pany's founder and four other buyers as they hunt for the latest and greatest beauty offerings. She says, "Finding the true gems takes hunting, both interna- tionally and domestically." Cera Fass is a co-owner of Arch Apoth- ecary, a Midwest chain of boutiques that bring together beauty products and salon services. Fass says that year round, "we do our research to keep brands that are well sought-after with good quality and natural ingredients." At Beauty Collection, which has loca- tions in southern California, Maria Rush serves as the vice president of business development alongside Dominique Rush, an assistant buyer. Maria says that when choosing products to carry, beauty store owners should ask themselves important questions, such as, "Do the products deliver on their brand promise?", "Are they effective?" and "Is it something our customers are asking for?" These are essential questions to con- sider when implementing strategies in your store for the holidays. The following professional advice based on years of experience can help you have your most successful season yet. 1 TOUCH ON TRENDS All the best and brightest trends make an appearance during the holidays, tailored to shoppers searching for the newest and most popular gifts. The holidays are the time to roll out the red carpet for your most in-demand products. As a beauty supply store owner, you understand how important it is to stay on top of the newest information and products. As Fass says, "The beauty industry is a fast-growing, forward-thinking and innovative one. Keeping up with trends and hot colors, products and gifts is key." Shoppers are looking to buy what's on trend particularly during the holiday shopping season. Maria Rush recommends that owners "review recent sales trends and data to forecast holiday needs." She also says that she attends trade shows leading up to the holiday season "so we can start planning our gift items and merchandising needs and we can start placing orders as early as May all the way through October." Dominique Rush says that she discov- ers the products people are looking for by using "social media to stay informed of new trends," by reading beauty articles and searching online. She adds, "I enjoy festive items that stand out. I've found that bringing in certain items only for the holidays, so that we can be that one-stop shop for our customers, has worked. Our customers know they have to buy it when they see it because it will sell out quickly. Then we can introduce them to the next hot item creating excitement." Dominique Rush's advice is simple but effective. She says, "Always be on top of what's out there, continue to educate your- self with trends and customer needs, test products yourself and have fun with it." 2 KNOW YOUR CLIENTELE Although trade shows are a great way to get a front-row seat to what Krentz calls an "industry that is continually changing," Fass also likes to rely on good old-fashioned, one-on-one interactions with customers. She says, "It's important to know your clientele. Getting to know each customer on a personal level will help you boost sales during the holidays, along with send- ing personal thank-you notes to repeat buyers. This keeps your small business relationships important, which increases the awareness of shopping local." Maria Rush agrees that customers operate as barometers for the items that should be carried in stores during the holiday season, saying, "Listen to your customer—they will tell you what you need to have in your store." 3 PLAN AHEAD Fall is the ideal time to start strategizing for the holiday season, allowing for research, planning and executing while still offering right-this-minute, on-trend items. Also, it's critical to allow enough time for the products to be delivered to the store. Fass says, "Along with gift cards, we do a ton of sales during this time, so we need to start preparing in the fall to get all of our holiday products in on time for clients to purchase in November and December. We look at reports to see what was trending from previous holiday seasons, stock up on all of our best-sellers and are sure to have tons of holiday reed diffusers, candles and home fragrances." 4 REVIEW PAST YEARS The only way to improve, in life or in your beauty supply store, is to review suc- cesses and lessons learned from past seasons. When devising a plan for the Cera Fass (shown above), co-owner of Arch Apothecary Maria Rush, vice president of business development for Beauty Collection From top: courtesy of Beauty Collection, Arch Apothecary

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