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Does the thought of merchandising your shelves make you cringe.  Join us for some facinating fun when it comes to merchandising.  We have more ideas than there are hours in a year.  Please let us unload them.

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Here are some of the most used terms when it comes to merchandising:



A term that generally refers to any fast moving product (Ex. Liters, Hair Spray, etc.), when placed in a pyramid form.



This term usually refers to keeping larger amounts of stock on hand of fast moving products and smaller amounts of those that do not move as well.



This term refers to a product that is normally carried in regular inventory and is "on shelf" with other products.  Bringing it "off shelf" means to place it somewhere other than the normal place where it is more visible.  Also referred to as a focus table.



This is an acronym that means: Point Of Purchase.  Where ever your clients pay for their services, or at least where the appointment book is located.



To have an off shelf display or focus table where you have your point of purchase.



Grocery stores use this technique all the time.  People purchase more of what is right in front of them.



A merchandising technique that refers to putting like colors together.



A merchandising technique that refers to placing like items in a vertical set.



Placing older products in the front of newer.  Also referred to as: first in, first out.



Moving products around and reorganizing so your shelves look different.



Shelving units should be of adequate size to fit the products you carry.  They should blend with  your décor and be visible from the front door and waiting area.  Good lighting is a must.  Shelves are your interior billboard.  They reflect the atmosphere and reputation of the salon.


To light or not to light?  That is the question.  Take product from your shelf and see if you can read the front of the bottle with ease.  Do this several times throughout the day.  If your shelves are by a window and your salon is open late in the day, make sure there is adequate lighting to view the products.


Make sure your shelves are free of dust and debris (Swiffers rock!!).  Check the shelves at least 3 times each day to make sure your products are in proper order, adequately stocked, shelf talkers in place, etc.  The reason is because some of your clients may pick up a product to look at, then place it in the incorrect area.   If you have small children coming into the salon, they like pretty things and will leave cute little smudges everywhere.  Bless their hearts!!  Also, they like to leave small toys, crayons and candy wrappers behind.


Decide on a merchandising plan and stick with it.  Don't use varying plans on different shelves, this looks confusing to your consumers. 


If the product you carry is a color coordinated line, with the different regimens being in different colors, keep the regimens together.  Do NOT split the product.  A good rule of thumb with color blocking is:





This layout will take minimal space on two shelves.  If you also have varying sizes of the products, place them smallest to largest in this same format. 


Likewise, if you carry a line that has the regimens numbered you can use this same format or use the vertical merchandising technique:








Remember to always keep an adequate supply of the "Hogs", products you sell a lot of.  If it is a really good seller, keep two or more "facings" or rows of the product on the shelf.  Try to always have at least two of every product on the shelf.  People will not purchase the "last one".  Lastly, keep your product "faced", bring it to the front of the shelf and make sure the front of the bottle is "facing" outward.


Just a note on Manufacturer Displays, they're great!!  If you carry a full line and it came with a display, request a "Plan-O-Gram" for the product.  Most manufacturers will be happy to assist with product placement.


POP (Point of Purchase) and Off-Shelf Displays play a very important roll in the merchandising game.  They bring focus to featured products, sales and promotions.  It is a good idea to have corresponding POP's and Off-Shelf displays.


For instance, for a liter sale, have an Off-Shelf display showing all the different liter promotions and have signage and a single display unit for your POP.  This accomplishes two things.  One, it draws the clients attention to the sale itself and second, it shows them the savings.


POP displays are also a great way to display small items, such as nail polishes, cosmetics, travel sizes and accessories. These are your impulse purchase items.  Keep POP's to a minimum.  No more than two at a time.  The reason is, too many can make your front desk look cluttered.  Clients need room to write their check, dig in their purses, look for that pen or tube of lipstick that constantly evades them.  You know what I mean.


Many manufacturers of these small items have displays available with a quantity purchase.  For example, nail care and polishes come in a nice display unit already labeled with product names and sometimes prices.  You can usually find these specials around holiday seasons and during a new product launch.  Check with your beauty supply company for upcoming promotions.


Off-Shelf displays also known as "Focus Tables"  are a great way to show off large sales.  Be it liters, duos, gift packs or feature products.  This is where the saying "Stack 'em high and watch 'em fly" comes into play.  With a large scale sale, these tables become the focus point.  Keep these tables visible.  They should be placed where clients will walk by them at least twice during their visit. 


Average sizes for POP displays are approximately 12" x 12", keep the height to 18" or under.  For Off-Shelf displays a 24" or 36" round table works well.  Of Course the larger the table the more product you need to fill it!  Also, don't use anything that will impede traffic in the salon. 


Keep signage for the displays short and sweet.  It's not necessary to list the individual products on the signs.  General information in clear concise lettering works best.  Check out some of the ongoing promotions we have in the Promotions area of the Members Only section of our website.


Lastly,  if you have a "theme" sale (Easter, St. Patrick's, Christmas, etc...), keep table decorations and signage theme friendly.  You don't want your decorations to clash!


Yes, believe it or not but your stations and back bar are great places to merchandise as well.  These are the products you sell!!  You should be using them!!  Make sure products that are displayed are also in stock on the shelves.  Too many times we have seen stylists use something on back bar, which was not for sale.  The customer asks "Hey, what is that?  I like it!"  A clear buying sign.  Only to have the stylist respond, "Oh, it's just so and so; I use it because I like it.  But, we don't sell it here."  WHAT?!!!  Please don't ever do that to yourselves.  People WILL buy what they can try.


On the stations, if you have a manufacturer designed caddy to hold the products, use it.  Most of the one's we have seen and used in the past have been very eye catching and hold the product in such a way as to display the names very well.  If you don't have a caddy, line the products up on your station according to usage and hold factor.  For example, if you are using a basic line, your line up may look something like this:




Keep what is on your station in the same order as your display shelves.  As you use the product on your client, tell them what it is and how to use it.  Also, let them hold the bottle, this way they can see the exact name and sample the fragrance.


On your back bar, again, line the shampoos and their corresponding conditioners up as you have them on the display shelves.  This makes locating the proper product easier for your client.  Allow them to see the bottle of product you are using and explain how to use it.  Your back bar should look something like this:



        SHMP      COND             SHMP           COND            SHMP  COND      SHMP & COND


Your back bar area should be clean and free of clutter.  If you are using liter sizes on back bar, make sure you are using pumps.  If you believe that using pumps waists product, then utilize a pump control to keep from pushing down too far.  (Quick tip, cheap and easy pump control?purchase a pack of pencil grips.  Cut down one side and snap on to pump shaft.  This allows you to only push the pump down so far and limits the amount of product dispersed.)   The point here is uniformity, keep the same sizes of product on back bar.  It just looks more professional!!


Another quick rule of thumb is to position varying lines by cost.  For example:


         HIGH END                     MEDIUM                   LOW END

                                 SHMP & COND             SHMP & COND        SHMP & COND


When using the products on your clients always use the higher end product,  because, it's easier to down sell than up sell.

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