The salon industry in both the United States and the United Kingdom witnessed healthy increases in 2015 and 2016; nevertheless, it seems like 2017 is nothing like previous years with decreases in salon revenues, as well as in salon retail.
The struggle is real for brands that stick to salons as their only clients. Kline PRO data shows a steep over 9% decrease in sell through sales for the period Q1-Q3 2017 compared to same period in 2016. We also see a similar pattern in terms of revenues from services—while growing healthily in 2016, sales for all types of services but treatments are down in Q3 2017. This is also confirmed by our preliminary results for the 2017 edition of Salon Hair Care: United States—the market is less dynamic than in previous years, and the little growth we see does not come from the salon environment, but from professional brand sales outside salons. The U.K. market, although showing a 3% increase in 2016, is also not as robust as previous years.
Retail is a fresh environment for many professional hair care brands. Many of them turn to this channel in search for new opportunities to increase sales, when it is difficult to grow within salons. Many brands are afraid of losing their professional image and some of their loyal stylist clients, yet many still take that route to keep their competitive position on the market.
We have seen for a few years now that star-performer indie brands, such those from Luxury Brands Partners, Davines, or AMIKA, are all very much involved in selected retail channels in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Examples of other brands present in retail are countless—the trick is to keep those sales under control so that they do not really interfere with the professional image of the brand. It is here that retailers come to help. There are many examples of retailers responding to the needs of professional hair care marketers, creating “more intimate” space on their shelves or on their websites that keeps the professional image of those brands. A notable example of this is Amazon’s Salon & Spa website, which hosts in partnership with respective marketers many professional brands. Department stores and specialty stores also create spaces dedicated to professional brands.
Retail, both online and offline, has become a serious consideration for professional hair care brands in developed and competitive markets like the United States and the United Kingdom. These brands are increasingly exploring the possibilities of take-home sales of shampoos, conditioners, and styling products outside the salon, and our new study, Professional Hair Care Retailing: Channel Analysis and Opportunities, will take a deep dive into the retail space to reveal the channel’s sales and developments, as well as some successful brands’ stories and select retailer profiles.
We also continue to track the performance of the global salon hair care industry through our Salon Hair Care Global Series report, analyzing 26 key markets to uncover the latest trends, sales, changes, and marketing activities. In addition, as indie hair care brands are increasingly making in-roads into the professional space, we will be soon announcing a new report that will examine this topic. To find out more about Professional Hair Care Indie Brands in the United States, please contact us.