WHAT: PBA Symposium 2009: Consumer Culture
WHEN: July 18-21, 2009.
WHERE: Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada WHY: For the first time as part of PBA Beauty Week, salon and spa owners and their management teams gathered to focus on the business operations behind the beauty—learning together, networking and sharing experiences.
THE FOCUS: In a turn of events, the results of a yearlong, landmark retail study, Business of Beauty: Maximize Your Profitability, took the spotlight at main-stage presentations throughout the event. Presented by strategic planner Neil Stern with help from PBA members Joico’s Sara Jones, Neill Corporation’s Edwin Neill and salon owner Cary O’Brien, the study revealed some surprising retail facts, dispelled myths about why stylists don’t retail, and proposed an eight-step process for boosting customer loyalty and increasing profits through retail sales. On the second day, a panel of experts shared professional experiences that illuminated the eight-step process. The panel included: Demalogica’s Dawn Blackstone; Bennie and Friends’ Bennie Pollard; Regis’ Norma Knudsen; Proctor & Gamble’s Reuben Carranza; Avalon Salon’s Bonnie Conte; Mandarin Oriental’s Jennifer Lynn; Diva Studio’s Steven Brooks and Sephora’s Carolyn Bojanowski.
THE REVEAL: The study demonstrated that an overall 3-percent increase in retail sales would equal an additional $30,000 in revenue and $15,000 in profit to a salon. “Although consumers like to learn about products when the stylist is using them, 71 percent of your clients were not offered a product introduction,” said Stern. “Even though the overall sales of beauty products continues to grow, the proportion purchased in the salon is declining while sales are increasing for super centers and discount retailers.”
THE REINFORCEMENT: After the main-stage sessions, Symposium organizers encouraged attendees to explore the PBA show floor, then invited them back for breakout sessions. Sessions on branding, customer service, designing a retail experience and leadership reinforced the teachings of the Business of Beauty study. (For on-site reporting about PBA Symposium, visit salontoday.com/BOB.)
In the session, “Defining the Future of Beauty Retailing,” a panel of industry experts walk attendees through the eight-step process for boosting customer loyalty and increasing profits through retail sales.
PBA Executive Director Steve Sleeper welcomes Symposium attendees.
Author Lou Carbone uses money to make his point in “Getting Clued in to Experience Management.”
In “Eyeing Up Your Business,” salon owner Marilyn Ihloff reinforces the importance of customer service.
In the session “Name Your Experience in Three Words or Less,” which was presented by the Eveline Charles Team, Rusk’s Brooke Carlson explains her company’s brand.