Barbershops across America are in a unique position to capitalize on the growing men’s hair care product market. Barbers help shape men’s style and their advice on all things from the neck up is invaluable. Yet the vast majority of barbershops don’t retail grooming products. We’ll make the case for why every barbershop should retail products and how they can do it.
So how much ($$$) in product sales are you letting walk out your door?
If you haven’t heard, the men’s hair product business is BIG business. In 2009, US hair product sales reached $1.5 Billion for men (Marketresearch.com). Not only is the market large but the men’s segment is the only personal care segment that has continued to grow in the past few recessionary years (9% in 2009 according to Mintel data
Growth in the men’s market hasn’t gone unnoticed but it’s not barbershops that have taken notice. The vast majority of men’s hair product sales are made over-the-counter at large mass retailers and drug store chains [like Target, Walmart, and CVS] – most of which have created and expanded their men’s grooming sections in recent years. Barbers have been a huge contributor to the success of men’s grooming lines in mass retailers. So why don’t barbers retail products?
The idea of retailing in the barbershop doesn’t seem to be a foreign idea. I’ve seen everything from apparel (like hats, shirts, and sneakers) to CD’s and DVDs for sale in the barbershop. Well, men go the barbershop to get their hair groomed so the barbershop seems like the perfect place to learn about and purchase grooming products, right?.
Barbers Influence Men’s Purchase Decisions…
Barbershops are, however, very well positioned to reap the benefits of the growing men’s hair care market. Recent consumer surveys (Mintel, Soft Sheen/ Carson, Nielson…) confer; 30% – 35% of men purchase grooming products based on their barber’s recommendation. Roughly translated, that means 3 out of every 10 barbershop customers buy products that you [their barber] either recommends or uses during their visit. In my experience, this figure is actually much higher for professional barbers with great client relationships.
Think about it, how many times has a client asked you [their barber] what product they can use to attain a certain look, get rid of dry scalp, or prevent razor bumps? If you gave them an answer you just sold that product. Sometimes you don’t have to say anything at all, the products at your station are enough to convince a client they are worth trying because you (the professional) use it
So how much ($$$) in product sales are you letting walk out your door? Let’s do the math. If one client purchases a $12 product recommended by his barber just 6 x a year that’s $70. For barbers with 100 clients (and 30% are influenced by that barber) that figure jumps to $2,100. That’s one product like a Frederick Benjamin’s Daily Hydrator or grease free pomade and one barber.
Annual retail sales of 1 product driven by 1 barber
|One client purchases a $12 hair product 6 times a year||$70|
|One barber with 100 clients & 30% purchase the same product 6 times a year (30 clients x $70)||$2,100|
Now, what if we’re talking about a shop with 8 chairs? Multiply by 8 and we’re talking $16,800 for just one product.
Annual retail sales of 1 product driven by Barber Shop with 8 barbers
|One barber influences 30 clients that purchase 6 times per year||$2,100|
|8 Barbers in a shop influence 30 clients each who purchase 6x per year||$16,800|
What if you had 3, 4, or 5 products? As an FYI, that would be $50,400, $67,200, and $84,000 respectively.
These are the potential product sales individual barbers and barbershops drive without effort. If you aren’t selling the product you recommend or have in plain sight you are missing out on this great earning potential.
Other Reason Barbers Should Retail Products
Products keep you top of mind with your client
Clients will think of you every time he applies the product at home. He thinks of where he got if from and who sold it to him –a great reminder of the service he received.
Product keeps him coming back… (Client retention)
Studies show there is over a 90% chance the client will return to the shop where he made the purchase. This will especially be the case if you choose a professional line (like Frederick Benjamin) that is not available over the counter at mass retailers or beauty supply stores. Your client will know he can get the product from you and will come back for it.
Product enhances your professional image…
If through the use of products you can correct a problem your client is having, or enhance his look, he will appreciate your knowledge and place more trust in you. Plus, attractive displays of salon quality products signals to clients that your shop is of a higher quality than the average shop. It signals that you have knowledge of hair care and styling tools that can help clients maintain their look.
Customers respect your opinion as professionals
As I mentioned previously, customers purchase products from hair professionals because they trust your opinion. Clients trust the product you sell them solve a problem they have (i.e., dry scalp/ flakes, frizzy hair, defining a curl or wave pattern, solving bumping, etc…) so get into the habbit of retailing and recommending product you know will work.
The idea of retailing in the barbershop doesn’t seem to be a foreign idea. I’ve seen everything from apparel (like hats, shirts, and sneakers) to CD’s and DVDs for sale in the barbershop. Well, men go the barbershop to get their hair groomed so the barbershop seems like the perfect place to learn about and purchase grooming products, right?
Alex Sutton III
Frederick Benjamin Grooming
Frederick Benjamin Grooming is a refreshing new line for men with dry to normal scalp + hair. Our advanced scalp + hair regimen combines active natural oils and state-of-the-art technologies to invigorate + cleanse + hydrate for all day softness and shine (WITH NO GREASE)!