While many stylists and salons know product diversion can--and does--directly impact their business, a shift in attitude toward it in recent years may be the biggest problem of them all.
"Today we see more and more beauty manufacturers abandoning the needs of independent salons and diverting their products to mass retail outlets for financial gain," writes Tracy Liguori, Co-owner and Co-president-Marketing for Scruples Professional Salon Products, the producers of both Scruples and INDIE HAIR products.
But the beauty companies aren't the only ones shifting their attitudes. As Liguori explains, the younger generations of stylists have been groomed to see diversion as a fact and not something they have power over, and salons and stylists are often not taking a retail stance. In the early days of brands jumping ship to the the mass retail side of business, salons would often stop carrying lines to continue offering their clients exclusive products they couldn't get elsewhere. Manufacturers were asked to make a choice between being seen as professional lines or mass retail lines. But as diversion has grown and shifted into a mainstream problem, salons are not as quick to make a stance, giving companies power over their own profits.
While diversion might not seem like a simple problem, there's a simple solution for getting stylists to tackle it head-on: education. Hair stylists need to be more aware of the business potential of offering their clients exclusive products, a move that, Liguori points out, is not only beneficial to them but the industry as a whole.
If you're a salon owner, take a look at the products you have on your shelves and start open conversations with your stylists about product diversion. The more discussions, the more education, and the more willingness to take a stance when it comes to the retail space in your salons, the better the future of your career and our industry looks.