Booth Renters to Increasingly Drive the Salon Biz

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Cyrus Bulsara, president of Professional Consultants & Resources

Booth renters are the fastest-growing segment in the salon world. So what are you—salon-industry manufacturers/marketers, distributors, chain salons, beauty store owners and managers, etc.—doing about it?

Those are my two major takeaways from a just-released, first-of-its kind, in-depth study by Professional Consultants & Resources.

Fascinating data from this 2011 Booth Rental Salon Market Study: Booth rentals already make up 35% of all U.S. salons, and in three years nearly 50% of all U.S. salons will offer some form of the booth-rental model.

In the long run, there’s little doubt that the better-managed, large, private and corporate chains and booth-rental salons combined will satisfy nearly 75% of all U.S. salon-consumer market needs, says Cyrus Bulsara, president of the strategic-consulting company and a U.S. salon industry-data source.

“While independent, artistic salons catering to high-end clients will always play an important role in the professional salon-industry marketplace, this business model will continue to lose market share to booth rentals and chain salons,” adds Bulsara. “The most likely outcome will be the evolution of new hybrids that combine the best client- and stylist-centric practices from all three business models.”

Additional highlights from the study include:

  1. Consumers have little to no understanding of the inner workings and management of various types of salons—and they perceive little difference and/or value between the various salon types. They “get” the consistency of the stylist, the ambience and the service at booth rentals.
  2. Booth rentals continue to grow strongly in certain regions. Clients want personalized, private services, and are moving away from the big, older, chain salons. Mid-tier chains are also under pressure.
  3. Last year, booth rentals and high-end, independent salons emerged with bold, new cut ’n color, bob, pixie and mop-top looks. Artistic and adventurous booth renters advanced these hairstyle trends with their clients.
  4. Booth-rental stylists are computer savvy with Web 2.0 and social media. Technological tools, such as My Chair App, Salon Booker, Square, Schedulicity, Style Seat and Vagaro, are heavily utilized—and can be co-opted.
  5. Booth-rental salons play a huge role in driving sales to beauty stores, including Sally Beauty Supply, CosmoProf (Beauty Systems Group), SalonCentric and all other so-called professional-only stores. Their purchasing habits and inventory needs are distinctly different from those of independent salons.
  6. Manufacturers and distributors need a sales/marketing strategy for each group of rental salons/stylists that they target. Strategies and tactics for rethinking packaging, promotional and pricing strategies are suggested in the study. Web 2.0 educational needs are addressed as well.

In addition, the study includes analyses of five current models: traditional multiservice rental salon, salon suites (that is, “salons within a salon”), blended rental/commission salon, shared-chair booth rental and luxury-salon chair rental. For more information about the study or to purchase it, contact
Bulsara, cbulsara@augustmail.com, or visit the Professional Consultants & Resources website.

Marc Birenbaum

[Caption: Nearly one of every two U.S. salons will offer some form of the booth-rental model by 2015, according to Cyrus Bulsara, president of Professional Consultants & Resources. The strategic-consulting company is now offering a groundbreaking study on booth rentals.]

[Image: Professional Consultants & Resources]