1. Is technology specifically mobile apps and customer management software changing the business at the salon level?
Technology with regards to management software is assisting the salons to measure their results. The successful salons are utilizing these reports to address areas that need improvement. With regards to mobile apps, I don’t think they are as important to salon professionals as much as they are to individuals who use them from their cell phones.
2. What are 3 things that salon operators can implement to improve their retail sales?
The most important element necessary to increase retail sales in a salon is actually the most simplest. Salons needs to invest in a retail coordinator. These individuals help the salon professionals who endorse the products increase sales. The reason why this is important is that if you wanted to have someone perform a haircut or a hair color they have a special talent to do so. If you want to teach people how to sell more you hire a sales person. This will be the only way our industry will achieve the necessary sales to become more profitable in retail.
3. How can the professional beauty sector take advantage of the internet to grow sales?
Selling on the internet is complicated enough. While many salons and spas have beautiful websites, they have not been able to take advantage of the sales that are happening in the beauty sector today. Many of the products that are being sold are by companies that have the infrastructure to get to the consumer and the ability to ship the products in a timely manner. While I believe the salons are negatively affected by these types of companies there is still an opportunity for salons to use the internet selling and to become more profitable.
4. What are 3 things a new start-up company (or international company wanting to launch in the US) should consider and implement (make an investment into) first?
The U.S is not a very complicated market but most companies do not understand how different and diverse each market in the U.S is. Any new company who wants to enter the professional salon industry should understand how distribution works and needs to provide the programs that are required by both salons and distributors. Advertising is a must to get name recognition since the competition is incredible.
5. What are the opportunities for growth for 2014? What is the outlook for the professional beauty distribution segment (i.e.: consolidations will continue, emergence of indie regional distributors, small franchise for local distribution, OTC / indie beauty supply stores)?
With regards to new opportunities for growth in 2014, there are many types of beauty distribution models out there. Ours is a family run entrepreneurial conceptual company. We sell based on a story that can be related to both the salon professional and the consumer. We are not the majority, but being the minority is not such a bad thing when it comes to selling hair care products. It takes longer to open up an account with conceptual selling, but they are more loyal once they feel part of something that cares about their needs.
As president of DePasquale Salon Systems (DSS), a professional beauty distributorship, providing professional products, services, and education to salons and spas along the east Coast; Mastalia has brought new ideas and energy while setting unprecedented goals for expanding the distributorship. With his “hands-on” approach to business, he has effectively doubled the Lakme USA and DSS sales force as well as company sales.