Insight for Stylists

9 Holiday Retail and Marketing Tips for Your Salon


For the past 18 years, Alan Kossof has handled the day-to-day operations, marketing initiatives and networking opportunities as Co-Owner of Teddie Kossof Salon and Spa in Northfield, Illinois. Now, he’s sharing his philosophy on marketing during the holidays—and giving us some tips in the process.
“Our philosophy is there are no secrets. I think it’s great to have a forum. If it inspires another salon owner or retail manager to look at what they’re doing with retail business, I feel we’ve succeeded,” Kossof said.

Figure out how to lay a gift with purchase.

“Ask yourself, how can we give that item away with a minimum purchase in the store? Last season, we gave away individual facial mask treatments—a basic cost of $2 for us—with the purchase of any two items. If you can purchase promotions from your distributor that provide a gift with purchase and layer your gift with purchase on top of that, you’re finding your sweet spot for margin.”

Utilize your 2nd and 3rd shelf for holiday.

“These are the most expensive areas to retail. Place your holiday promotions there. If you move your client’s favorite product from the 2nd or 3rd shelf to another location in your retail display, be confident that they’ll be look for it and find it again—they just may see two to three other promotions and products along the way.”

Trigger in-salon holiday shopping with flyers and brochures.

“In our salon, we utilize traveling tickets to track client services. During promotional periods we utilize our receipt printer’s capability to add coupons to those receipts. We also affix standalone promotional flyers to help support promotional efforts during those special times of year when we’re trying to draw attention to a particular promotion or event. People think they have to run to the department store to get a Christmas gift, but they don’t realize that the salon is a perfect environment for gift giving.”

It’s not about your ticket charge.

“Of course, you need to be mindful of appropriate charges for your marketplace. However, sometimes it’s not about what you charge for your product sales but how many products you can sell. Bring the margin down on product to increase retail sales overall. I’m not suggesting people do this for all their products—they should follow suggested retail—but I’m saying you can use retail to help support sales for promotional periods. Don’t be afraid to adjust product pricing if applicable. It’s all about the gross volume.”

Pay attention to your service to retail sales ratio.

“At a minimum, you should be above 10% when it comes to sales from retail, especially in the months of October, November and December. Utilize sales, marketing, ad spots and a graphic designer to get the word out about your holiday retail.”

Incorporate in-salon gift certificates with purchases.

“Put $20 and $40 gift cards in your “Gifts Under $50” basket in the salon. You can also offer gift cards with purchases of services within the salon.”

Be thoughtful about what you purchase as a salon.

“When you’re a consumer, what gets your attention? Say you only sell skincare. Invest in a thoughtful gift bundle that includes body, hand and nail cream and a gift with purchase, too! Be mindful of which items and quantities you feel will have the must successful sell-through during the holidays. You can put anything that doesn’t sell on sale as a New Year’s special.”

September is the deadline for holiday retail planning.

“You need to have the campaign done by September. At least have conversations with management that will put together a plan so you know what you’ll need to buy. Distributors put deals together pretty early, so you’ll want to make sure you get the right allotment of product. Take advantage of pre-order sales, too!”

Take advantage of the impulse buy.

“We purchased barrels and buckets at a local furniture fixture display company and loaded them up with travel-size gift items. We put them on a big display table right at the checkout.”
“The bottom line is that you have to participate. If you’re not participating in holiday gift giving, you’re losing out on a lot of opportunities. Not everyone is going to buy from you, but don’t cut off opportunities for one more retail sale,” Kossof said.

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