L’Oréal USA’s SalonCentric Division recently announced two significant acquisitions—Maly’s Midwest and Marshall Salon Services.  

This is part of a strategic commitment that L’Oréal USA made three years ago to further its mission to gain closer proximity to the salon community while continuing to provide them with the best products, service, training and education for professional and personal success. The additions now provide SalonCentric with coverage of more than 80 percent of the US. Maly’s Midwest and Marshall Salon Services represent combined sales of $130 million.

MODERN SALON chatted with Paul Sharnsky, president of SalonCentric, about the acquisitions:
SalonCentric's Big Acquisitions
Paul Sharnsky

MODERN: These acquisitions will give the your brands greater coverage across the US. Are there certain brands you are specifically focusing on?
SHARNSKY: No. SalonCentric, the distribution arm of L’Oréal is a multi-branded operation. We are multi-line, multi-channel business. Although the L’Oréal brands are important, we have strong partnerships with other brands as well. We’re focusing on our hairdressers and stylists we serve and linking them with best brands and solutions.

MODERN: How do these two distributors align with SalonCentrics core values?
SHARNSKY: These two companies have very rich heritages in the industry. Marshall and Maly’s have been servicing for a long time and are very much linked to the DNA of L’Oréal.

MODERN: What do these acquisitions mean for education for owners and stylists?
SHARNSKY: As a multi-branded operation, we promote and bring education to market from the manufacturers we serve. We make education available to a large number of stylists. Our store network is close to 700 in the US. A number of our store environments have education within stores. SalonCentric is also very present at major shows, where we partner with the brands we represent to bring leading education to stylists and salons we serve.

MODERN: Will there be more acquisitions?
SHARNSKY: We started this process three years ago. Our goal was to have national distribution by the end of 2012. We are ahead of schedule in that regard, but we still have some pockets we have to fill in. We have a desire to have a national footprint covering the entire US.

MODERN: What does this mean for salons that carry your products?
SHARNSKY: Share the best practices of two companies with our company and share ours with them. Salons shouldn’t feel any change. Ultimately, our objective is to continue business as usual. Give them access to more education and more brands.

MODERN: How will this help salons fight diversion?
SHARNSKY: When you control distribution of your brands directly, you have a much greater opportunity to ensure they end up in authorized outlets. We have launched the most comprehensive primary and secondary coding system in the industry. The most recent end of 2009 IRI data (sale of professional products scanned through unauthorized outlets) showed L’Oréal brands with over 30 percent reduction in 2009 of unauthorized outlets. This demonstrates our efforts are working and is part of the reason we buy distributors.