Beauty Salons Get An Experiential Makeover
With increasing awareness of wellness, exposure to global lifestyles and growing number of beauty care brands in India, there has been an unprecedented growth in grooming services market. Today, beauty salons and spas are emerging as the new experiential
The wellness industry, showing tremendous potential in last few years and sized at more than Rs 80,300 crore in India, is expected to grow twice as fast as markets in the US and Europe (Source: KPMG). In wellness business in India, which is growing at a CAGR of approximately 18%, the combined business of beauty salon and spa is estimated to account for 31% (Source: Spa Association of India). The growth is attributed to more women in workforce, cost-effective service industry of the country, growing number of beauty and cosmetics brands in India and exposure to global lifestyle trends. The most interesting trend is that home-grown beauty service salon are fast becoming part of organised retail, accelerating their retail footprint through mostly franchisee rollout, while international salon chains are also anchoring onto India’s retail shore.
CoCo Vs Franchisee Rollout When it comes to organised salon and spa
sector, the widely-accepted growth model is franchisee rollout, which is growing at 3035% per annum. Today, one of frontrunners, the salon chain brand from Unilever Group, Lakme Salon has a network of approximately 400 salons, amongst which only 50 are company-owned. Another fast-growing salon chain, Naturals, with an inventory of 645 outlets, are instilling their idea of women entrepreneurship, targeting not only 3000 salons but 50,000 jobs, by 2020. The chain is currently focusing on non-South market, penetrating into tier-II and tier-III markets as well. CK Kumaravel, CEO and Co-founder, Naturals Salon
CK Kumaravel, CEO and Co-founder, Naturals Salon, explained, “We had about 50 CoCo stores till 2013 and today we have only 5 of them. More than 99% of our outlets are franchisee-operated, while we oversee the services, design etc.” Considering 90% of salons still operate in unorganised sector, Be U Salon took the opportunity to help these standalone salons to compete with larger chains through their tech-enabled franchisee ecosystem. The chain today has 90+ salons across markets like Delhi-NCR and Bangalore.
For better control and exclusivity, some salon chains, despite having good visibility, are refraining from rapid rollout. With more than 60 salons in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad, YLG Salon, a brand by R&R Salons Pvt Ltd, grew their network steadily in first two cities before venturing out in third one only earlier this year. On the same line, West-based Enrich, a 21-yearold brand, has 62 outlets across Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad and Baroda and will soon open outlets in Surat.
Vikram Bhatt, Founder & Director, Enrich Salons, said, “For us, whichever geography works well, we believe in digging deeper in those. We don’t trust wider expansion but a deeper one.”
One Brand, Many Formats
Who had imagined a salon nestled in a women apparel store before Reliance Retail’s Project Eve brought the Looks Salon experience inside the store? With almost 4-5 retail formats across 98 outlets already in place, North India’s favourite salon Chain Looks salon is inventing various formats for Vikram Bhatt, Founder & Director Enrich Salons
5-star hotels (Looks Prive), luxury format Looks Noir and men-only high street format, The Barber Shop.
Sanjay Dutta, Owner & Founder, Looks Salon, explained, “We are merging never-before experiences in our salons. For our outlets in corporate parks like Horizon Center or Cyberhub in Gurgaon, we have placed a piano, which can be played by the customers. We will soon bring library and book reading experiences. Basically, we are working on 1520 more concepts and formats.”
Similarly, Naturals Salon has four formats – Natural Ayurveda (spanning 2500+ sq ft), Unisex (1200-1500 sq ft), Women (less than 800 sq ft) and Lounge (2500 sq ft). Lakme Salon, with its premium format Absolute (2000 sq ft) and general format Lakme Salon (800 sq ft – 1200 sq ft) recently brought in a
new mass format Lakme Fast N Fab (400 sq ft – 600 sq ft) for high footfall locations.
One of the oldest wellness centre chain in India, VLCC, with close to 500 centres across more than 15 countries acquired vanity Cube, a mobile beauty salon business and has the beauty van service across cities like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore.
Scaling Up The Design
As organised retail is adopting newer concepts more frequently, salons are fast changing their design vocabulary often with re-positioned branding and introduction of tech elements. With a strong background of hosting high-octane design show, Fashion Week, Lakme Salon brings the same experience in its salons with strong audio, visuals and video content.
Pushkaraj Shenai, CEO, Lakme Lever, explained, “We are poised to bring a number of digital touchpoints to increase the buzz and energy of the salons. Our bridal section may introduce digitallyviewed pre looks. The acoustics and audio-visual content to amplify our “backstage experience” from Fashion Week will get bigger and better.”
Taking the similar tech-savvy route, Naturals will soon introduce Mask Mirrors, which can double as view mirrors and brand communication platform. Working with various domain knowledge and analytics software like Zenoti and Tablaeu, Enrich Salon follows similar design philosophy; in fact any two of their outlets never look identical. For Looks, one concept stays for 5 outlets before getting changed entirely.
Rebranding often leads to the retail design makeover. As popular skin clinic chain Kaya entered into hair care and other services, the entire design language changed to a premium grey palette from the red branding which previously dominated.
Rajiv Nair, CEO, Kaya Clinic, mentioned, “In our entire retail design makeover, façade deserves a special mention. Our facades, now made of wood, are now bigger (upto 70 feet) with bolder and more visible branding. Inside the outlets, the lux level of lighting is more retail oriented; audio-visual elements and communication via tabs have been introduced.”
Beauty Salons – Poised For Further Makeover
If we take a data report by Tableau, the beauty and wellness industry has doubled up in last 5 years and according to EY and FICCI report, the total size of wellness industry is about to hit 1.5 trillion by FY20 in India. As “wellness” has adopted a multi-dimensional definition, beauty and nutritional care is expected to retain their shares; fitness and rejuvenation will significantly increase their market pies. Some of the key shifts the beauty salon industry is witnessing are – rapid penetration through franchisee network, ensuring business growth through various retail formats depending upon locations, rentals etc; regional brands turning into organised national chains; entry of corporate entities into salon business; breaking away from traditional design and revamped branding to attract new-age customers.
Pushkaraj Shenai CEO, Lakme Lever
Rajiv Nair, CEO Kaya Clinic