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Old 05-03-2012, 04:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Negative publicity, recession and less volume. (The elephant in the room)

What is "normal" / "good" business for a tanning salon these days? After 14 years in the industry the definition of "busy" has really seemed to change. Those owners with more experience will know what I mean, and those who are new, may not realize just how much things have changed. Between negative publicity and a change in consumers spending habits the overall market (base of customers) appears to be smaller than in the past. At least this is what I gather from conversations with others in the industry.

Do these sales numbers sound about right to you?

Typical Smaller Salon: (6 Bed Salon + 1 Spray tan)

Years 2002-2007
$250,000 - $300,000 = GREAT SALON SALES
$130,000 - $180,000 = Average Salon Sales

Years 2008 - 2012
$175,000 - $225,000 = GREAT SALON SALES
$90,000 - $140,000 = Average Salon Sales


Based on your experience / knowledge does this sound way off? About right? What does it mean to be a busy salon these days?

To say the attitude towards tanning isn't changing may be naive. Just talk to the average person (not just tanners in your salon) and you'll notice how much more tanning is starting to be viewed more like smoking. Thoughts?
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Negative publicity, recession and less volume. (The elephant in the room)

Has new competition opened near you since 2008?
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Re: Negative publicity, recession and less volume. (The elephant in the room)

I can't say I follow local or industry numbers. I've always set my own goals and diversify when necessary to meet those goals. We just had our best month since we opened 6.5 years ago.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Negative publicity, recession and less volume. (The elephant in the room)

Anyway you look at, those are great numbers for a 6 bed salon. My average salon sales haven't been much above the $140,000 number, and I've got 20 beds. 6 tanning units must be running non-stop everyday of the year, to make those kinds of numbers. To top that, there must not be a slow season up in Canada.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Re: Negative publicity, recession and less volume. (The elephant in the room)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHN @ URI View Post
Has new competition opened near you since 2008?
Hi John,

No, we have not had new competition since 2008. During the boom times 2000 - 2007 we were getting competition move in but it didn't seem to matter until the market slowed down.

I'm wondering what others consider a "busy" tanning salon in terms of annual sales. Take out the short term perspective and what is considered a good year of business?
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Re: Negative publicity, recession and less volume. (The elephant in the room)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eileen View Post
I can't say I follow local or industry numbers. I've always set my own goals and diversify when necessary to meet those goals. We just had our best month since we opened 6.5 years ago.
Hello Eileen,

Thanks for the reply. Interesting feedback. From your perspective your not seeing an issue with the Negative Publicity in the media or consumer speding changing. As far as your concerned the industry feels healthy and growing? Do you have any thoughts on what a very busy tanning salon will do in terms of sales volume?
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Re: Negative publicity, recession and less volume. (The elephant in the room)

Quote:
Originally Posted by parrot head View Post
Anyway you look at, those are great numbers for a 6 bed salon. My average salon sales haven't been much above the $140,000 number, and I've got 20 beds. 6 tanning units must be running non-stop everyday of the year, to make those kinds of numbers. To top that, there must not be a slow season up in Canada.
Hello Parrot Head,

Thank you for the feedback. Obviously our costs must be much, much different because we could not make money on $140,000 in sales. Interesting. It would be nice to be able to make a living without the huge risk of having to bring in big sales just to break even.

Canada has a very defined seasonal pattern. We are very slow in the fall, picks up and booms by spring which dies off come July.

I hope we get more feedback in terms of what others consider a busy salon. How many years has your salon been in business? Are you noticing the negative affects of negative medial campaigns on the news, internet, newspapers, talk shows etc.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Re: Negative publicity, recession and less volume. (The elephant in the room)

I'm still curious to know:

1) How much is the negative publicity such as the over tanned lady with her kid in the tanning room, hurting the salons out there? This type of stuff is on every news station and even being discussed on major, international talk shows.

2) What is good sales volume for a tanning salon?

Anyone?
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Re: Negative publicity, recession and less volume. (The elephant in the room)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Good_Guy View Post
What is "normal" / "good" business for a tanning salon these days? After 14 years in the industry the definition of "busy" has really seemed to change. Those owners with more experience will know what I mean, and those who are new, may not realize just how much things have changed. Between negative publicity and a change in consumers spending habits the overall market (base of customers) appears to be smaller than in the past. At least this is what I gather from conversations with others in the industry.

Do these sales numbers sound about right to you?

Typical Smaller Salon: (6 Bed Salon + 1 Spray tan)

Years 2002-2007
$250,000 - $300,000 = GREAT SALON SALES
$130,000 - $180,000 = Average Salon Sales

Years 2008 - 2012
$175,000 - $225,000 = GREAT SALON SALES
$90,000 - $140,000 = Average Salon Sales


Based on your experience / knowledge does this sound way off? About right? What does it mean to be a busy salon these days?

To say the attitude toward tanning isn't changing may be naive. Just talk to the average person (not just tanners in your salon) and you'll notice how much more tanning is starting to be viewed more like smoking. Thoughts?
Things have changed. I have been in this industry for over 33 years and things always change.

What drives change? Technology drives change. The ability for the consumer to be reached instantly and communicate with other consumers instantly drives change.

As business owners we must operate at a much higher standard today because you can't hide. You must actually provide a much higher level of customer service instead of just saying you do.

How you reach consumers today is quick and easy and must be utilized. Negative publicity no matter how far removed from mainstream reaches all consumers. Therefore as an industry we must be better smarter and educated and represent the positive aspects of what we provide to consumers in a knowledgeable transparent way.

What are good numbers? If you have a great business model and through your aggressive effective advertising and marketing combined with well educated and trained employees and you have been smart in location selection, you are maximizing income potential and those will be great numbers.

If you are lacking in any of these areas and not taking advantage of instant communication abilities with consumers, than your numbers will reflect it.

This is the same with all industries, not just tanning. Technology and how to best utilize it drives our success.

As an industry we must stop giving the media every opportunity to target us as a danger to consumers. They don't have to look very hard to find salons that make our industry looks irresponsible.

We are not able to unite as an industry so you owe it to yourself to be the salon that stands alone as a reputable business that cares about tanners and how they use your services.
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Re: Negative publicity, recession and less volume. (The elephant in the room)

Good Guy,
Interesting that in 9 posts, including 1 from a self-proclaimed industry expert, you can't get a straight answer to a simple question. Here's mine:

We have a 16 unit salon including 1 sunless unit. Our base beds (4) are a high level 2 (15 min) and we go up from there. Our bread and butter bed is S-Class, of which we have 3, and we have 3 different HP beds above that. We do a good job of upselling our EFT customers and move many of them to our better beds. We do a decent job selling lotions at about 22% of sales. Our salon is well-located in a grocery anchored center on a major arterial serving our trade area which is an upper middle-income demographic with stable employment and modest population growth. Our competitive edges are equipment, cleanliness, and level of customer service.

Our best year was 2009 when our total sales were above $400,000. The recession did not affect us until 2010 when our sales fell about 11%. We regained about half of that in 2011 and this year we are down about 3% from last year. Number of tanners has pretty much held up but since April 1 we are off about 15% from last year. I think much of the decrease we have experienced this year is weather related (no winter in this part of the country).

In my opinion, we will not get back to 2009 numbers until the following things happen:
1. We get an industry organization that is even moderately adept (or even slightly motivated) at defending us against the misrepresentations being made by those seeking profits at our expense (derms and SPF manufacturers).
2. The tan tax is repealed. See item 1 above.
3. Economic conditions improve substantially.

Unfortunately, I am not optimistic that any of these 3 things will happen anytime soon, the result being that we will not resume growth in tanners or achieve any pricing power in the foreseeable future.
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