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Retail: Turn Ideas into Action

By: Carol and Rob Trow
Posted: May 29, 2008, from the June 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 5 of 6

For any of these games, the rewards can be structured to be creative and include one or more of the following: increased commissions during the contest, free products, professional magazine subscriptions, gift cards or professional meeting attendance options. A favorite reward is also the secret shopper assignment, in which the contest winner is assigned to go to a competing spa that you admire and have a paid treatment or service. They then report back to your team on the pros and cons of what others are doing.

Vendors as strategic partners

Rewarding your spa’s staff members is a great way to encourage them to help move retail sales, sure, but how should you pay for these rewards? By now, you can likely guess the answer: Get your vendors to chip in by supplying free products, cash and the like if their products are at the center of the retail sales drive. It really is a win–win situation.

And even though all vendors can’t always do all of the following, do be sure to ask them what kinds of incentives they can offer you. If they do not do what you need, move on. The vendor-provided incentive options can include: no minimum orders, seasonal incentives, participation in employee incentive programs, employee discount programs, education and training programs, marketing and open house support, trade-out and buy-back programs, direct shipping to clients, newsletter support, collateral materials at little or no cost, special discounts for testers, no-questions-asked returns, visitations, technical support, hotline options, protocol development, signature treatment design, menu assistance and a speaker’s program.

Stellar retail space

Moving into the location of the products themselves, your retail space should be neat and clean, provide good visibility, create excitement and be easily accessible to your clients. It should also be educational and informative, organized by collection, range and order of application. Allocate at least 15% of your facility’s space to retail and keep impulse items by the checkout counter. Also, remember that most women’s average height is 5 feet, 5 inches, so keep products at eye level as much as you can, and put the spa name everywhere to help build your brand. Point-of-purchase displays and shelf-talkers help build retail sales volume and profits, as well.

You should be able to measure your sales as a percentage of total spa revenue, by type of item sold—skin care, spa accessories, gift or apparel—retail sales per ticket, sales by staff member, sales per square foot, and inventory turnover by item. Note this simple fact: Higher retail sales and faster turnover equals greater profits, so you should look to turn your inventory over every 60–90 days.

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