How to Effectively Edit Your Beauty Inventory, p.2

Studying the cars will give a good indication of the disposable income available to the customers who frequent the area. Is the lot filled with the latest luxury vehicles or is it a menagerie of older and cheaper cars? The answer provides insight into whether a store’s prestige inventory is going to move or if reasonably priced fare is a better choice. Bumper stickers might provide further clues as to the demographics. For example, children-related or pro-environment stickers point to what is valued by those in the area and could translate into inventory tweaks, such as additions to baby personal-care items or organic products.

Yarabek also suggests talking to retailers in the area to ask them about the behavior of their shoppers, or hiring companies that will conduct intercept interviews with people in the parking lots. Social media provides yet another opportunity to collect demographic information, as store owners can seek out and obtain information on the people who “like” their Facebook pages.

“Many people are happy to give away information,” says Yarabek. “Store owners need to know as much as they can about their customer base [to choose the most appealing products]. Collecting demographic information is easy, although it is time-consuming.”

And finally, when it comes to beauty retail, less often means more. For example, “less square footage often means more sales, which translates into more profit,” says Yarabek.

Similarly, less product inventory makes it more enjoyable for a consumer to choose a product, whereas an extraordinary amount of products on the shelf “feels overwhelming,” adds Yarabek.

While strategically selecting product requires a certain amount of background work and self-control to edit accordingly, the final result is well worth the effort. A niche beauty supply, rather than a general beauty supply establishment, can build better brand loyalty and notably increase profits. Beauty Store Business spoke to four beauty store owners who have mastered the art of product selection, albeit in very different ways. Following are their stories.