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    Hair Care Industry Recession Proof?

    Regis Corporation closing up to 160 company owned stores!

    The hair care and beauty industry was once thought of as a business that was almost recession proof.  After all, ladies isn’t it true, we will give up shopping, movies and lunch dates before messing with our beauty routines! But, this recession we are in seems to be showing it’s ugly face in the hair care industry as well.

    This holiday came as a shock to some hair care salons in St. Paul and Minneapolis, who are reporting declines of up to 25% from last year. The impact is being felt as clients are cutting back not just on services but on their regularity of services as well. Regular, faithful clients are waiting longer in-between haircuts and colors. Also appointments for manicure, pedicures and waxing have been waning as well.

    Teri Schneider, owner of 51st Street Hair Station, in an upscale Minneapolis neighborhood, said her business dropped 20% last month from a year ago. She has been a hairdresser since the 1980s, charges an average of $45.00 for a haircut and said she has never experienced a dip like this one.

    Michael Cole, owner of Talk of the Town in South Minneapolis, whose salon core is an African-American clientele also reports a 25% dip in business. Many of his 18-45 year old clients who use to come in weekly for a shampoo, blow dry and style, starting at $40.00, have cut back on this luxury. Some less frequent customers are giving up services all together.

    Minneapolis based Regis Corporation announced plans last July to close up to 160 company owned stores because of the weakened demand on services. Regis Corp. has over 8,500 stores that operate under several names.

    Hair Care Salon
    Great Clips Minneapolis based hair care salon franchise

    My good friend Ray Barton at Great Clips might be the be the beneficiary of some of those customer losses on the traditional hair care salon front. The Great Clips franchise, also based in Minneapolis, is a discount chain which seems to be picking up business from the fall-out of other higher priced salons. Haircuts at Great Clips average $12.00  It appears they are doing well in this economic downturn.

    They announced their plan to expand by 300 stores to their existing 3000 salons nation wide by the end of 2009. Great Clips advertises to prospective owners, “What really makes this business concept unique is that it is recession resistant, simple and has steady growth; you will be hard pressed to find a better business that meets all three.”

    Even though we are seeing deep discounts in retail everywhere, don’t expect to see price cuts in your hair care salon anytime soon. The rising costs and declining revenue hair care salons are faced with means most cannot cut prices and keep afloat. Julie Guzman, at The Beauty Lounge in St. Paul says, “My rent has gone up. My products have gone up. Getting to work has gone up but I haven’t raised my prices in three years because of the economy.”

    Keeping up appearances rates high when it comes to protecting our feelings of well-being. Looking good equates to feeling good. Yeah, it’s not the ONLY thing that matters, but, a great hair style and color can go a long way to lifting spirits, especially when all else is crashing down around you.

    Barb Quinn on Google+  


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    Regis Hair Salons Cut

    Regis Hair Salons cuts 160 poorly performing locations

    When the economy slows the first thing that gets cut from many families budgets are optional expenses for personal grooming. It is likely that women are cutting back on visits to hair salons, but I have not heard a lot hand wringing from my fellow hairdressers about empty appointment books. So I would not read much into this news.

    Regis Hair Salon Corporation announced recently that they will close 160 poorly performing hair salons early in 2009. This is just a small percentage of Regis Hair Salons 8,500 company owned hair salons most of which are located in American malls.

    Twenty of the closures are in Regis hair salons in the UK, 100 will be in malls and the balance will be in strip centers.

    The hairdressers involved will be reassigned to other Regis hair salon locations. So if you have a favorite Regis hairdressers there is a good chance you’ll be able to stay with them at a new site.

    The fact that the hairdressers are not being layed off makes me believe that this has less to do with the economy slowing down and is more of a correction of past management mistakes in choosing locations.

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    New Beauty Stores Coming to Your Mall

    Find a beauty store

    Regis to Dominate the Mall Hair Care Salon Market

    You will soon be seeing a new European looking, beauty-boutique store opening in a site near you . . . that is, at least if you have a major mall that has a “Trade Secret” or “Beauty Express” store in it. Regis Corporation has recently announced their newest acquisition of Pure Beauty and Beauty First hair care salon operations. Renovations to existing stores are expected to begin immediately and eight new locations will be added to the mix.

    What does this mean for you? interviewed Regis CEO, Paul Finkelstein who said, ‘We represent a huge opportunity for consumers to find the brands they want and for the manufacturers who need outlets to sell their product. Also, consider that Sephora only has 187 stores and Ulta only has 200 locations. We have over 750 locations, so it’s three times as many as these other beauty retailers. Plus, we have incredible real estate to work with in all our locations.” Look for the current, “Trade Secret,” stores to have a new look, new name and new product lines. Their new name will be PureBeauty. The current Beauty Express locations will be renamed BeautyFirst. Both stores will be expanding their product lines to include unique skin, hair, bath, body and facial products.

    A four chair hair care salon will also be in the back of the stores.

    Several years ago I had a working relationship with some of the folks at the headquarters of Regis and have been  impressed with their management savvy and upscale attitudes about the hair styling industry. I live in the Twin Cities, where their new major site in the Mall of America will be opening in another couple months, in March. . . I’m looking forward to seeing not only what product lines they choose to carry but also how they service the needs of the customer.

    Barb Quinn on Google+  


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