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Retailing Results are More Than Skin Deep

By: Jenny Hogan
Posted: September 24, 2010, from the October 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
client shopping for spa retail products

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If you are a spa owner with employees, share with your staff how important retail is to your business in order to get them fired up about selling products. “Most spa professionals are notoriously reluctant to become salespeople, preferring to focus on services instead,” Gartland says. “Breaking it down to the numbers will show the impact that retail really makes. It is about challenging the mindset of the professional. Share how those increased profits will impact their earnings and improve their careers.”

Jill Ruone, owner of City Looks Salon and Spa in Minnetonka, Minnesota, relays that retail is significant to her business and is where her profitability lies. “Retail can give you from 30–50% profit,” she states. “Because of retailing, I can afford to provide benefits to my employees. I offer health care, paid vacation and an education fund. The more they retail, the more money goes into the fund. Service sales pay for running the spa, but retail pays for the employee benefits.”

City Looks employees understand that retailing increases client retention, and that it is part of their overall job of making clients look and feel better. Team members are also inspired to retail with a level system for increased sales. “We use a system with six levels based on different criteria, such as average retail tickets. After maintaining their average for 90 days, employees get a promotion to the next level, which involves a salary increase, additional vacation days and more money in their education fund,” Ruone notes.

The City Looks team also brainstorms together for fun promotional ideas that involve clients as well as employees. To promote a new makeup line, it ran a Hot Lips promotion on Valentine’s Day. Employees cut out paper lips and posted them around the spa, writing in lipstick, “Ask about our lips!” Clients who bought lipstick kissed a piece of paper to enter the contest. City Looks then hosted an open house to announce winners and had three local firefighters attend to pick the three hottest lips from the lipstick kisses. “We had ladies ranging in age from their 20s to their 80s participate in this promotion,” Ruone shares. “Winners received $50 worth of makeup, and the spa team member who sold the most lipstick won $25 worth of makeup. It was great fun and really promoted the new line well.”

Change your mindset

Changing your own mindset about retailing is the first step toward implementing this simple way to guarantee profits. Incorporate retailing into every step of your normal services and use education to show your clients the value of your professional products. Showing your clients the potential of what they can achieve for their looks and the health of their skin will give them great results and help successfully grow your business.