Beauty Store Business

NOV 2018

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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30 November 2018 | A PLATFORM COMPANY With the brush business booming, Davidson and his team soon set out to expand urther, their sights trained on becoming a platorm company with diversiied oerings. They identiied two areas o desired growth: the electronic appliance and liquid spaces. To that end, in 2017 the company purchased Bio Ionic, a proessional-only brand (and the No. 1 seller in SalonCentric stores) with electronic hair tools such as blowdryers and lat irons. "We've grown the brand urther since taking it over; one year later, business is up 28 percent, year over year," Davidson reports. "And we now have the ormula down or how to integrate a new brand seamlessly, because acquisitions can easily ail i they aren't integrated properly." Continuing its quest or diversiication–this time in search o a star liquid line–brought the company to Ouidad, a decades-old brand known worldwide or its natural and curly hair products, acquired in August 2018. Beyond its robust product portolio, the brand boasts three salons across the country, which can unction not only as spaces to serve the public but as "test kitchens" or product development. And, though the Ouidad customer list is virtually identical to JD's other brands–retailers such as Ulta, SalonCentric and Amazon–the curly-hair kingpin brings a dierent set o assets to its new parent company. "We're very excited about having Ouidad because they have so many strengths we don't: e-commerce, digital reach and integrated educational teams, as well as the salons/test kitchens," Davidson says. "We believe we've now proven that we can be a platorm company, to buy and integrate other brands that are synergistic with our brands." Amid this transormation, there also remains the intense ocus on growing and catering to both consumer and proessional markets without one harming the other, and sales trends have been overwhelmingly positive. In just a ew years within mass-market stores, Davidson reports "phenomenal" results, with WetBrush gaining market share over competitors, despite being on the higher end o the pricing scale. In SalonCentric, the company is enjoying nearly 30 percent growth year over year. "As ar as our uture, we want to continue to use our synergies well and ind smart opportunities," Davidson says. "We want to be as strong as we can be as a platorm company." TEAM SPIRIT As Davidson learned early on in his own career, a good team is the cornerstone o every successul company. Thereore, he has tapped some top minds–both rom the beauty space and other industries–to help lead the company to the extraordinary growth it has experienced in the past ew years. Francesca Raminella, coming rom the pro beauty world with previous stints at GHD North America, L'Oreal and P&G, serves as chie communications oicer, overseeing sales, marketing and product development or all three brands. Gary Dailey, with a background that includes time at brands such as Hain Celestial and Everlast, runs everything logistical as chie inancial and operations oicer. Davidson says, "I don't come rom the beauty business, and I think we have a good mix o employees who come rom beauty and those who don't. I think there are great lessons to be learned rom other types o businesses, and as we moved into consumer products especially, that mix has really helped us. You're only as good as your people, and the proo is in the pudding." Likewise, top execs rom beauty and beyond are no doubt attracted by JD's company culture–one that Davidson describes as un and exciting rather than corporate and drab. For example, Davidson created what he calls the Culture Club. He allots a certain amount o cash to a group o employees (six are selected each round) to use as they see it. His team has hosted everything rom lavish lunches to parties and picnics. Meanwhile, at quarterly "town hall meetings," employ- ees will take over a bar and talk about the company's growth and direction in an inormal setting. The attention to a un yet ocused work environment has certainly been successul, which has been especially important as the group expanded rom 24 to 124 just in the years since Davidson came on board. And, with the acquisition o Ouidad, the company now enjoys a strategically placed oice in the heart o New York City. "We could not be more pleased with the early success o our integration with Ouidad; we're already experiencing the synergies, and sales and marketing have been realigned to better serve our customers," Davidson says. "We will also be looking at how we can leverage cross-pollination opportuni- ties between our brands where applicable." O course, the JD team extends arther still. The brand connects with a broad range o proessionals and customers to sharpen product development and testing–brainstorming with laboratories, tapping stylists, rounding up consumer ocus groups both online and o, and testing in salons. Meanwhile, Davidson continues to seek acquisitions like Ouidad: brands that will work synergistically with its current portolio, and that JD, in turn, can help to grow. It's all part o the grand plan or JD Beauty Group, a lourishing platorm company that seems well on its way to reaching the very ambitious goals that Davidson has set or it. "The company's irst ocus is to have each brand become the best and most coveted in each o their particular channels," Davidson concludes. "We're laser-ocused on being the best and most innovative product development and marketing organization in the entire beauty industry!" ■ Tracy Morin is a reelance writer and editor based in Oxord, MS. GET CONNECTED!,, @thewetbrush, @bioionic, @ouidad "We have some ormidable competitors, but nobody markets brushes like we do." JD Beauty's new WetBrush Gemstone Collection or consumers (L) and WetBrush Pro Moroccan Collection or proessionals (R). LESSONS LEARNED Jeffrey Davidson shares his top business lessons gleaned from decades of entrepreneurial success. 1 Davidson advises beauty store owners to look at what other beauty businesses are doing. "Look at other retailers, too," he says. "How do they think about their customers and services? Don't be afraid to look outside and learn from the rest of the world." 2 "Let great people have the leeway and tools to make decisions and grow their groups," he says. 3 "Take chances. It's OK to fail. Get back up and try again!" 4 "Coaching is great, but don't expect to change people and their beliefs or business practices."

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