May 4, 2017
A White Paper highlighting the opinions of spa industry leaders from the Asia Pacific region was released in April 2017. From a series of round-table discussions held in Thailand, one of the resulting conclusions was that people issues are still of primary concern. Despite industry growth that far outpaces global economic growth, the ability to ensure guest satisfaction and motivating millennials remain top of mind. Read More
November 9, 2016
Moontide Consulting is having a limited, once per year holiday special of our Increasing Your Retail Selling On-line Training Class for Spa Managers. Read More
October 25, 2016
In last week’s Globe and Mail, writer Jessica Leeder wrote a fascinating piece on the esthetician shortage. Despite reports that the wellness sector is growing in leaps and bounds, Jessica reports that spas are struggling to fill their employee ranks with qualified skin care professionals. Read More
August 8, 2016
The International Spa Association (ISPA) released its annual findings of spa industry financial indicators, reporting great news. Total revenue passed US$16 billion increasing from US$15.5 billion in 2014. Read More
August 3, 2016
As beauty outlets like Ulta continue their explosive sales in cosmetic and skin care products, how is the spa industry strategizing to capture its own share of the retail market?
Not all retail stores are under pressure. One new chain is expanding. Based on a successful formula, the chain plans to add 100 new 10,000-square-foot stores this year for a total of more than 970 units. The stores are called “Ulta Beauty” (Ulta, not Ultra, notice) and offer makeup, skin care, fragrances and hair products.
A recent article from The Wall Street Journal revealed Ulta’s strategy (1). The first building block of success is location. Ulta avoids the premium urban sites some retailers choose. Instead, Ulta picks less expensive secondary locations, with little or no competition, in outdoor strip malls instead of enclosed malls, where shoppers can easily park and walk directly inside.
The second building block is Ulta gets women to try, wear and, most important, play with beauty products. Mass brands like Cover Girl and Maybelline, normally available in drug and big-box stores, occupy one side while prestige brands like Lancôme and Clinique, usually found only in exclusive department stores, are on the other. Customers can test most products, even hair dryers. And Ulta is dynamic with promotions that bundle top sellers with new items, a technique that takes the focus away from straight discounting and instead encourages customers to discover new things.
This mix of brands offers a broad range of prices, from $2 lip liners to $200 hair dryers, and appeals to all ages. Mothers and daughters often shop together, with three in four customers spending 15 minutes or more in the store, and one in five spending 30 minutes or more. The stores have hair salons, and often facial stations and “brow bars” for eyebrow shaping.
“You hear and see and smell and feel beauty happening around you. It elevates the whole store, even if you are not using it,” Dave Kimbell, Ulta’s chief marketing and merchandising officer, told The Wall Street Journal.
Shoppers test shades of lipstick, sniff different fragrances or get a blowout. “You can’t Amazon that,” said Oliver Chen, head of retail and luxury goods at analyst Cowen & Co, calling Ulta one of a handful of “Un-Amazon-able” retailers in The Wall Street Journal.
Some consumers describe their experience as feeling like a kid in Disneyland. And while there is increasing competition from drug stores and more upscale beauty retailers like Sephora, Ulta differentiates itself by offering both mass and prestige brands together. This encourages what the company calls “mass migration,” where a shopper coming in to buy a cheaper lipstick will wander over to check out more expensive items.
To encourage prestige brands to market outside their usual exclusive upscale retail settings, Ulta sets the high-end brands apart with dedicated areas, special seating, signage and fixtures.
While salon services make up just a small percentage of sales, those customers must make an appointment that forces them to come into the store regularly. These shoppers spend 2.5 times more than non-salon customers and shop twice as often.
Natural products retailers have the ability to offer the same sort of elevated shopping experience by creating areas where customers can linger and learn, try product samples or demonstrate equipment, receive a chair massage or other health treatment. With a little creative thought, you can apply the lessons from Ulta to make your store “Un-Amazon-able,” too! WF
1. E. Holmes, “A Beauty Retailer That Knows What You Want,” The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2016, www.wsj.com/articles/a-beauty-retailer-that-knows-what-you-want-1466536921, accessed June 29, 2016.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine August 2016 Author Jay Jacobowitz
October 22, 2015
When I first met Khun Kate we hit it off right away. She had just opened her anti-aging clinic in Bangkok around the same time that I’d launched my online retail training class. We spent two hours bonding over the topics of favorite vacations spots, anti-aging treatments and perfect customer service. Read More
August 26, 2015
For many therapists in the spa industry, retail selling has negative connotations. Some massage therapists consider their vocation to have roots based in spirituality. They don’t think that commerce should enter into the process. “Render under to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s….” Others have expressed discomfort with the idea that as health care providers making a product recommendation may be crossing their line of authority. Read More
July 9, 2015
My interview with international marketing expert Norm Bond. I discuss the ethnic client, customer service, the impact of social media, changing demographics and of course spa training.
To listen click here>>https://youtu.be/otcVaSbJ_C4
July 5, 2015
The first time that I had to give a public speech I began to cry hysterically. I also wet my pants.
I was four years old and in kindergarten.
Since that time I’ve had many jobs where public speaking came with the territory. It’s never been fun but I’ve gotten considerably better at it. When I worked for Verizon as a training manager, I attended a two day workshop on public speaking. I had an instructor who was able to create a safe emotional space for the attendees. He built such an atmosphere of support that it was almost painless to stand in front of the other 11 trainees and give a five minute presentation. People performed brilliantly during those two days. I wish I could remember his name, he was wonderful. Read More