Making The Cut

By Scott and Jennifer Fontana

Making The Cut

Making The Cut: Visual Merchandising

With the holiday season around the corner, many salons and other businesses are bringing in the decor. Scott and Jennifer Fontana, owners of Cristophe Salon Newport Beach, offer their tips on effective visual merchandising for the holiday season.

Choose a theme.
To ensure a consistent look, without overwhelming clients, identify a theme and stick with it. Perhaps you want to use metallic colors, or maybe you want to go with traditional greens and reds or blues and silvers. Do you want a winter wonderland theme with snowflakes or do you want wreaths and pine? Whatever direction you choose, establish a theme first before you start bringing in the decorations.

You could take this theme one step further by working with neighboring businesses to create a consistent theme throughout your section of a mall or shopping plaza. Clients could walk through a winter wonderland and be enticed to stop in each store as part of the experience.

Maintain your environment.
While dressing up the salon is a fun and festive way to get in to the holiday spirit, be sure to maintain your salon environment. If new clients walk in to your salon, you want them to know how your salon looks and feels during the other 11 months of the year. Don’t move furniture around to make the decorations fit; rather, complement existing furniture and decor with a holiday touch. Whether you own a luxury, trendy or edgy salon, the holiday décor should reflect your salon ambiance. This will ensure your holiday décor is not taking away from what makes your salon unique the rest of the year.

Embrace all of the senses.
Remember the clients’ time at the salon is a complete sensory experience.  When creating your holiday theme, make sure your designs appeal to all of your senses from the music you play, to the lighting you display, to even the smells. Consider going against the grain of holiday-scented candles and instead, let your salon be the scent customers can enjoy. Smelling your salon products will be a nice change from the other thousands of shops using pine and gingerbread scents this time of year.

Help your customers visualize the gifting experience.
Holiday shoppers are inundated with gift ideas, so make it easy for them to purchase. Create merchandising displays that allow the customer to see how the gifting experience would look – ribbon, packaging and all. If clients can walk in and see a beautiful gift display with no extra visualization or work required, they will be much more inclined to make the easy purchase. Work with product vendors and partners to create complete gift sets to make the purchases all that much more appealing, and cost-effective, for shoppers.

Hire an expert.
If any of the above sounds a little daunting and you’re not sure where to start, hire an expert. In the same way that you expect your clients to come to you for expert hair services, turn to the visual merchandising experts to help you style your salon for the holidays. The experts will be able to identify ways to maintain the authentic vibe of your salon, while capturing the holiday spirit and increasing product sales during the bustling shopping season.

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