Traditional salon business is struggling. Sprawling salons with fancy addresses owned by celebrity stylists are on their way to extinction if they don’t evolve. Gone are the days where the salon was the one-stop shop for all beauty needs. Better, faster, more affordable options have taken significant market share, leaving high-end salons struggling to compete and cover their overhead.
The slow death of the high-end salon:
- Deal Chasing – Services like Gilt, Groupon, and LifeBooker gave smaller salons offering steep discounts a competitive edge, taking business from higher-end salons.
- DIY – YouTube and Instagram how-to content replaced the advice and guidance of high-end stylists.
- Beauty Bars – Hyper-focused boutiques specializing in facials, brows, waxing, blowouts, and lashes for a fraction of the cost.
- On Demand – Where you want it, when you want it services appeal to the Uber generation.
- Salon Culture – Approximately 60 percent of hairstylists are freelance, and salons have a reputation for being mismanaged and run poorly. On the other side of the equation, startups like Drybar and Glamsquad continually invest in stylist education and technology.
Racked summarizes it best, “If Drybar is known for easy, flawless blowouts and Glamsquad is reliable for fast, at-home services, what do the hundreds of local salons have left to offer customers?” One thing is certain: the traditional salon model needs to evolve or high-end salons will become extinct.
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