Beauty Store Business magazine - January, 2020

Manufacturer Reps Share 2019 Business Goals & Beauty Trends!

Leading manufacturer reps discuss their goals and predictions for 2019.

The beauty of the beauty industry is that it’s constantly changing, innovating and evolving. In 2018, everything from glossy lips and rainbow hair to glittery liquid eyeshadows gained momentum. But what exciting trends will we be seeing this year? We spoke to top manufacturer reps for a glimpse into their personal business goals as well as their industry-wide projections for the year.

Gerry Udell

Gerry Udell Inc.
Gerry Udell, principal
“Our company’s goal is to continue to upgrade and improve our social media presence by partnering with both our distributors and manufacturers. Another goal is to have all our manufacturers ship promptly with no backorders! During the past several years, the landscape of the professional beauty industry has changed dramatically. One of the positive trends we see is the growth of smaller independent distributors. This bodes well for the smaller independent manufacturers as well as the bigger ones. These new customers are meeting the demand of personal service that the mega distributors are unable to provide.”

Steve Nutile

CFN Beauty Representation
Steve Nutile, founding partner
“CFN’s goal in 2019 is to continue to adapt to the fast-changing distribution that continues to define our industry. We want to continue to expand our national reach by working with the finest manufacturers and match them with the most successful distribution partners. For 2019, we predict continued consolidation on both ends of our business, as more distributors merge and multinational vendors continue to acquire additional brands to build their portfolios. We at CFN look forward to the challenges ahead as we approach our 30th year in business.”

Kristel White

J. White & Associates
Kristel White, cofounder
“Our New Year’s resolution business goal is pretty simple–to continue on our incredible growth trajectory! Our trend prediction is really more of an observation: ‘Clean is queen.’ We see the industry, both at professional and consumer levels, clearly defining what clean means, and the customer is responding. Another movement is wellness, and we now have a new word for Webster to consider adding in 2020: athleisure. Beauty will always remain at the forefront of our business, but as we evolve into these new realms, white space emerges and that is good for all of us!”

John Madia

MRM Beauty Sales Inc.
John Madia, manufacturer rep
“Looking to 2019, MRM Beauty Sales will concentrate its efforts by continuing to only represent nail brands. We feel this focus will help to get the artistry and creativity in the nail category all the attention they deserve. MRM Beauty Sales believes nail art will be bigger and better than ever in the coming year. These trends will also change faster than ever. This will require focus, attention and the diligent use of social media to be ahead of the curve before these trends begin and so quickly end.”

Nicole Freeman

The Freeman Group
Nicole Freeman, principal
“The Freeman Group will be in front of our changing industry–assimilating and creatively adapting to this environment to create more value for our manufacturers and customers. For 2019, CBD products, CBD education and how they actually take effect will definitely be at the forefront. Of course, natural beauty will continue to be a focus.”

Coleman Harrison

Coleman Harrison
Tom Harrison, principal
“We will adapt to the changes that are occurring in our industry and use the knowledge we gain from participating in the change to help us to make even better decisions in the future. Those who fail to acknowledge progress and adapt will cease to exist.”

Eric Berger

BTB Sales & Marketing
Eric Berger, principal
“Today’s consumer is finding less of a reason to drive to beauty supply stores because of the incentives from discount sites who offer cash back/coupons online. This may be the most important time where manufacturers, distributors and reps alike must come together to assure that the foundation of the beauty supply stores stays strong. In 2019, retailers need to be turning to new technology to offer the consumer the same experience as internet sites (for example, remembering what you like, past purchases, your price range, understanding you and your preferences). Our organization feels that as manufacturer reps, we must also be equipped with all the latest technology and offer our customers an innovative buying experience in addition to maintaining our strong relationships with our customer base in the beauty industry. We feel that in 2019 in the haircare category, growth and treatments will greatly expand as well as more product lines with organic/ natural ingredients that are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.”

Harlan Kirschner

The Kirschner Group
Harlan Kirschner, CEO
“We plan to grow and expand our business despite some of the headwinds facing the beauty industry. Our company has embraced technology and analytics to make ourselves more valuable to our manufacturers and customers. We are developing strategic plans with social media, influencers and store support to help our customers grow in 2019.”

Kevin Van Nest

VNC Sales and Marketing
Kevin Van Nest, principal
“[We will] focus on what’s important to grow our business, engage on social media and continue to offer our customers innovative products along with the best technology the beauty industry has to offer. I believe we will see more environ- mentally friendly products and packaging as well as a wider range of gender-neutral beauty products. Also, we will see more emphasis on ingredients and a more personalized approach in all categories. Men’s grooming products will continue to evolve along with new technology in all appliances.”

[Main photo by Unsplash; rest courtesy of each manufacturer rep]