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Slow economy spurs at-home nail care

BY Antoinette Alexander

The housing market is sagging, energy and food prices are rising and consumers are increasingly looking for ways to trim spending. So what does it mean for the nail care segment? Are money-conscious shoppers forgoing pricey salons?

“I think perhaps what is happening is that women who were going to salons are doing much more of a natural regimen right now, which would talk to the growth we are seeing in natural nail solutions,” said Mike Matulis, senior vice president and category manager for nail care company Pacific World.

According to ACNielsen data for food, drug and mass (including Wal-Mart panel) provided by Pacific World, sales of nail treatments were up 4 percent to $140 million for the 52 weeks ended July 12. More specifically, sales of strengtheners were up 19.6 percent for the 52 weeks and up 23.5 percent for the 12 weeks ended July 12. Meanwhile, such miscellaneous products as nail whiteners and nail biting solutions were up 31 percent for the 52 weeks and up 50 percent for the 12 weeks ended July 12.

Meanwhile, sales of implements inched up only 0.4 percent to $379 million, while color polish was flat at $320 million.

Some of this growth could be coming from salon-goers who are either opting for at-home treatments or are visiting salons less often to cut costs, possibly doing more nail “maintenance” at home in between visits.

Underscoring this notion is data published in Nails Big Book 2007-2008 report. According to the report from Nails, a business publication that serves nail salons, nail technicians, nail product marketers and distributors, “The market is down for the third year in a row. More of you told us that building clientele was the No. 1 challenge you had in business.… A lot of you are in areas hard-hit economically, and your business is suffering as some clients lose jobs and have to cut back.”

According to Nails, there has been a 10 percent decline in dollars spent by salon customers on nail salon services from $6.84 billion in 2004 to $6.16 billion in 2007.

Sales may be slumping for salons, but that doesn’t mean that women no longer care about the health and appearance of their nails. This represents a great opportunity for those retailers who can further promote at-home nail care regimens.

“Consumers are being frugal and holding back discretionary spending—they continue to focus on the basics, which is helping discounters, wholesale clubs and drug stores,” stated Stacy Janiak, the U.S. retail sector leader at Deloitte. “Retailers will need to continue to aggressively woo consumers and find creative ways to present their merchandise in order to get their share of consumer spending.”

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Winn-Dixie completes 100th store remodel

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Less than 18 months after announcing a major remodel initiative for all of its 521 stores, Winn-Dixie Stores, on Thursday announced the completion of remodel No. 100.

The newest remodeled store, in the Miami suburb of Hialeah, is celebrating its grand opening today.

The Hialeah store showcases the company’s fresh and local strategic initiative—an updated storefront, combined with expanded produce and floral departments. The store’s deli and bakery were upgraded with a wood-burning rotisserie and bread warmer, a wing bar, an olive bar and a specialty dessert case. The store also features new energy-efficient refrigerators and frozen food cases as well as new wood flooring and a contemporary color palette.

“This is not only a milestone for our Company, but it also symbolizes the hard work and dedication of our associates and the loyalty of our customers,” stated Peter Lynch, Winn-Dixie’s chairman, chief executive officer and president. “It’s all about being fresh and local—from our decor to our merchandising and marketing initiatives, we are tailoring every detail of our remodeled stores to meet the needs of neighborhoods we serve. As the remodel program moves forward, we will have a significantly stronger store base from which to compete and leverage the strength of our brand. We plan to remodel half the chain by June 2010.”

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Longs to carry GE digital cameras

BY Michael Johnsen

TORRANCE, Calif. Already distributed through Walgreens, General Imaging, the worldwide exclusive licensee for GE digital cameras, may be getting a foot in the door with CVS with Thursday’s announcement that its retail camera line is to be picked up by Longs Drug beginning in October.

Under the agreement, Longs stores will stock three models—the A730 Black, the A835 Black and the A1030 Red.

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