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

VM&RD - - Contents - Satarupa Chakraborty

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

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