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Old 02-02-2007, 09:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Mega Salons

Mega Salons

No one should be surprised at the growing number of mega salons sprouting up throughout the country. If you look around today and see who’s doing the business in computers, videos or office supplies, it’s super stores. Everything is bigger, flashier and brighter. In other words, as an industry begins to develop and mature, offering more selection and more upgrades entices more customers into stores and generates more business opportunities.
The tanning industry is following this trend. According to one Colorado-based firm, there are three different concepts of salons—standard stores, super stores and mega stores. The standard salons have seven to 14 tanning units and occupy about 1,500 square feet; super stores feature 15 to 25 units and occupy 3,000 square feet; and, mega stores have 25 to 49 units and occupy about 6,000 square feet.
“It’s quantity over quality, and customer service tends not to be as detailed,” adds another salon operator. “It’s a matter of processing the service. At a mega salon 10 customers easily could show up in two or three minutes. They have an expectation when they walk in that they will get right in. Without a doubt, mega salons should be quick, easy and convenient.”
Which brings us to the three most important features of a mega salon: location, location, location.
Yes, the term sounds like an overused clichÈ, but location is still an all-star. Not only is location important, it is critical. Finding the right location for a mega salon is all about demographics. The location has to be able to support a mega salon. Mega salons are expensive to operate, and if they are not set up in a demographically correct area, failure is imminent.
There is no room for error in finding an appropriate location. Before opening, an operator should examine the general demographics of an area, as well as specific types of shopping centers.
Expense is another factor to consider when deciding whether to open a mega salon. The bottom line is that opening a mega salon is not an inexpensive proposition—in fact, the initial investment could be anywhere from $250,000 to $350,000. To do it right, operators need to invest in a quality electrical plan, which can cost between $30,000 and $35,000. It takes a lot of air-conditioning to keep a mega salon cool.
Other expenses include maintenance and repair on many more beds, lamps, acrylics, towels, not to mention that more employees are required. Basically, a mega salon has all of the expenses of a conventional salon, but with a mega salon the costs are doubled and, in some cases, tripled.
The goal of a mega salon is to service the public in large quantities. It should be convenient for customers and not require them to make an appointment because they need to get in and out quickly. It’s also generally less expensive, but, again, mega salons should be very accessible to the public.
“Mega salons make tanning easier for customers,” says a New York salon operator. “Customers prefer the flexibility they get with a mega salon just like customers prefer the flexibility they get with a Home Depot vs. a mom and pop hardware store.”
However, customer service should not suffer. Perhaps the best advice for potential mega salon owners is to be able to cater to both their younger clientele, who might need little, if any attention, and their older clients, who want to keep abreast of the latest educational information, as well as get a healthy dose of tender loving care.
The return on a well-run mega salon is excellent, and the customer service can be too. The very successful mega salons are able to maintain their managers over a long period of time. By being able to do that with a properly motivated management team they can get very close to the kind of care a mom-and-pop shop can give. Knowing your customers is a necessity that is often overlooked but just one key element in properly operating a tanning salon.
Employee Issues
In exploring mega salons, a repeated concern seems to be the difficult task of finding good employees. Yes, mega salons need more employees; however, that is not the problem. The problem is that because of their size, mega salons also need different levels of management skills.
Today’s successful salon owners must do everything they can to entice good employees and keep them.
For mega salon owners, it won’t be hard to pay your valued employees good money. Why? Because, apparently, the No. 1 reason for owning a mega salon is the possibility of mega money rolling in. Some operators claim their salons make 20 percent to 30 percent more gross revenue than the average salon owner.
However, interested parties should be cautious because everything involved in a mega salon is large and mega salons generally are forced into large marketing programs. Gross receipts are a lot larger, and mega salons do not have the grace period that individual salons have.
After all, mega salons have large leases on equipment, large leases on property, and large payrolls for employees— everything is large. So, mega salon owners cannot sit around and wait for business to come to them.
Successful marketing methods include direct mail and well placed signage on the building. Just seeing the sign is as effective and productive as anything else.
Advantages:
  • Money.
  • Money.
  • Money.
  • As easy to run as a conventional salon.
  • More beds available to customers.
  • No appointments necessary.
Disadvantages:
  • Money (initial investment is extremely high).
  • Money (monthly expenses are high).
  • No room for error on location.
  • Less time to interact with customers.
  • Finding excellent employees.
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Old 02-02-2007, 09:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Re: Mega Salons

Intersting, what is the source of this?
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Old 02-02-2007, 09:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Mega Salons

I have 4,500 sq ft and 6 beds - what does that make me?
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Old 02-02-2007, 10:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Re: Mega Salons

Looking for tenants.
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Old 02-04-2007, 08:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Re: Mega Salons

great post matt . but also mega salons do a lot of volume and your beds are in need of constant maintenance.
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Old 02-04-2007, 08:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Re: Mega Salons

I have both. I have 13 bed stores and 25 bed stores. It all evens out. OVERHEAD everything that u said. It all evens out. i HAVE SAID NO MORE DOUBLE BAY.
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Old 02-04-2007, 11:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Mega Salons

Beds are in need of constant maintenance? Not good beds.
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Old 02-05-2007, 08:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Mega Salons

Constant maintenance does not equal Sportarredo beds. I think they are work horses.
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Old 02-05-2007, 08:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Mega Salons

I'm a regular salon with 12 tanning beds, 1 magic tan, 1 infared sauna and an aqua massage bed. My investment in my salon is near $300,000. I have an excellent location and own my building (2000 sq ft on 1st floor and using 1000 sq ft in lower level for spa), but am no where near a super or mega salon. I don't see how one could open a mega salon with $250,000 to $300,000. I think you are talking $75,000 just for A/C to cool that big of a salon. As far as equipment costs, add another quarter of a mil for that. Even if you did buy ETS. Also, don't forget electric upgrades needed. At the very least, $50,000, even if you have your brother-in-law do it.

Last edited by parrot head; 02-05-2007 at 08:40 AM. Reason: add text
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Re: Mega Salons

when you tan between 600 and 800 people out of 35 rooms salons you will have constant maintance I DON'T CARE WHAT EQUIPMENT YOU BUY i have a lot different equipment some break less than others and i wont get into which is better. i have my favorites but i think with the right lamps most equipment tans well anyway. i also agree that it is very expensive to build a mega salon. i just build one 35 rooms over 600 invested. You can tour this at www.tropicaltanandtravel.com.
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