Amazon is everywhere. It’s hard to buy a book, furniture, clothing, or hair products without seeing Amazon results appear on Google’s shopping pages. And in case you haven’t heard, the online giant also wants to take a stake in the salon industry in person.
Amazon opened its first hair salon in London a few months ago. The two-story facility covers over 1,500 square feet in London’s Spitalfields district. The salon was created to increase the visibility of hair products sold on its platform and to test new technologies, such as hair colors and styles via augmented reality. “We want this unique place to bring us a little closer to customers, and it will be a place where we can collaborate with industry and test new technologies,” said John Boumphrey, Amazon UK Country Director, in a recent Press release.
Hair care and styling – cut and blow dry, full headlights, balayage, textures, treatments and braids – are provided by Elena Lavagni, owner of the Neville Hair and Beauty Salon. Thanks to its point-and-learn technology, consumers (adults and children) can browse product shelves and scan a QR code to redirect to that product’s Amazon page to learn more and make a purchase if they wish. .
Although the retailer has said it has no plans to open multiple locations yet, given that it is Amazon, the barbershop could have the opportunity to shake up the industry. What made us think: what impact would this have on small independent salons? Will this affect ethnic salons? And will people flock to the dates? To gather information and forecasts on the impact of the new salon on the hair industry, we contacted Joseph Maine, celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of Beauty brand; Tina! Hair and Makeup Supervisor of TINA Turner Musical, Geo Brian Hennings; and Daryce Tolliver, hairdresser and owner of A curling salon can dream of.
Will Amazon have an impact on the salon services industry?
As the global spa and beauty salon market is expected to reach $ 217.25 billion by 2026, all of our experts agree that the introduction of an Amazon hair salon comes as no surprise. But are they worried? The short answer: not really. “Amazon is not in the service business, and I don’t think they aim to take on personal services,” Maine said. “I think they are interested in becoming a bigger part of the beauty retail industry and like Ulta I think they will lead the retail and the salon will be secondary.”
Lavagni, who runs the Amazon salon, agrees that stylists are the beating heart of the initiative. “When we use digital technology, we want it to complement the expertise of our stylists and to integrate naturally into the customer experience,” she told POPSUGAR. “For example, if a customer wants to undergo a big transformation, the augmented reality color bar gives customers the opportunity to experiment and explore different looks. Technology helps build confidence, but ultimately every client will still need to seek the advice and expertise of the stylist. “
What about a loss of customers? Even with a top English hairstylist and team, Hennings doesn’t expect clients to leave their longtime stylists for Amazon. “Sure, it’s Amazon, but they don’t have the exclusivity,” Hennings said. “Popularity has always been a thing in the salon world. It’s about who’s in magazines, who makes music videos, whose celebrity clientele hits – people want that.”
Will Amazon have an impact on the show’s retail space?
In terms of taking a piece of the retail pie, Lavagni says stylists will be available to help shoppers find the right products, but “we’re finding that technology is helping to engage shoppers in the business experience. retail at salon “.
Still, Maine believes people are reluctant to purchase luxury hair and beauty items from Amazon for fear that it is a fake or old product. Although Amazon is constantly working to tackle fake, unregulated products with Project Zero, Hennings has asked many customers to bring Amazon products that are a completely different color and texture to the real one. . “Big companies have been trying to get into the hair salon industry for years, but the quality control isn’t there when it comes to Amazon and hair products,” he said. declared.
For Tolliver, Amazon salon services may not be a threat, but the retail aspect has the potential to be. “Amazon allows businesses to sell directly to consumers, which makes it much more difficult for me as a stylist to receive products,” she said. “With them selling products in the salon, I think my team and I will have to revisit the way we retail to our customers. ”
Even so, there is one advantage that independent salons have: education. Tolliver says the ability to educate the customer about a product and how it works for specific hair types reassures them and gives them a more personal experience than they would get from buying on Amazon.
Hairdressers often set many hair trends because they have the insight, education, and the list to do it. Our hair experts are confident that the new Amazon hair salon will have minimal effects on the industry. But like many things at first, only time will tell.
Image source: Courtesy of Amazon