stockchecker on hair coloring
D.P. Hamacher & Associates Inc., a Milwaukee-based management consulting company specializing in drugstore management tools, provided the material for this column. For further information, call the Hamacher firm at 1-(800) 888-0889, or e-mail the company at Hamacher@execpc.com. Hamacher also has a Web site at http://www.hamacher.com .
As demographics change, so does a category's focus. The nation's teen population is growing faster than any other group, a fact not lost on hair care manufacturers. This year's big hit, hair coloring, taps into the style consciousness of Generation X and Y men and women as never before. In the past six months, hair color items accounted for 117 of the nearly 300 hair care introductions. And established brands, like Clairol and L'Oreal, are introducing strong color linesHerbal Essence and Open, respectivelyto target this youth market.
Sales of the subcategory as a whole grew 5.3%, and drugstores lead all other outlets in the hair coloring category. However, both food and mass outlets are gaining ground at the expense of drugstores.
Men's hair color is behind a great deal of category growth. Over the past two years, the men's side of the business has been growing twice as fast as the women's market. Sales of men's hair coloring products have reached $200 million, showing no signs of declining any time soon.
Is it true that blondes have more fun? More than 40% of those who color their hair are willing to bet they do. The popularity of blonde shades has spread toand is driven bythe age 16-24 male market. According to a survey by Teenage Research Unlimited, 63% of teen boys said that dyed hair is cool. Thanks to popular personalities like Eminem and baseball's Mike Piazza, teens are seeing the people they admire going blonde. And in typical teen fashion, they are consciously copying the style.
L'Oreal and Clairol, manufacturers that have catered to mature customers, are trying to make inroads with teens and young adults. L'Oreal's Open line, containing 24 SKUs, and Clairol's Herbal Essence line have debuted with huge marketing budgets. These manufacturers hope to position their products as market leaders among the young who use hair coloring to make a fashion statement. Teens also feel that hair coloring makes them look and feel better about themselves.
Another established name, Revlon, has introduced its High Dimension line to compete with Feria and L'Oreal's new Open line. High Dimension is the first 10-minute color on the market and is available in 24 vibrant shades.
We merchandise hair coloring in brand blocks that follow the manufacturer's number codes. In larger sets, we include a variety of brands to offer customers the best selection and a substantial number of new products. In smaller sets, we pare down the subcategory, focusing on the best-selling line and filling in the gaps with top sellers and product introductions from other brands. This strategy enables retailers to specialize in one brand while still providing the most popular shades of other brands.
We place a small number of men's hair coloring items in the hair care department. However, the bulk of men's coloring products are merchandised on the shelves of the men's shaving & grooming department. These products include men's blonde shades from Feria and Herbal Essence.
Hair coloring is an important subcategory for drugstores. Stay in-stock on a variety of products, and keep your shelves well merchandised. Your customers will appreciate the options.
Clairol Xtreme FX Hot Red
Herbal Essence Hair Color 14 Light Golden Blonde
Herbal Essence Hair Color 26 Dark Blonde
Herbal Essence Hair Color 42 Deep Auburn
Herbal Essence Hair Color 48 Radiant Burgundy
Herbal Essence Hair Color 56 Light Brown
L'Oreal Excellence Cream 4RB Dark Red Brown
L'Oreal Excellence Cream 6RR Intense Auburn
L'Oreal Feria 102 Iridescent Bliss
L'Oreal Open 5N Atlantis
L'Oreal Open 8K Osiris
Lumina Hair Color 36 African Violet
Lumina Hair Color 50 Maple Blossom
Lumina Hair Color 60 Wheat Bloom
Natural Instincts Exotic Peruvian Fire 83
Revlon High Dimension 02 Ultra Soft Blond
Revlon High Dimension 45 Burgundy Brown
Revlon High Dimension 50 Medium Brown
Use this never-out list to monitor your in-stock condition. The items listed account for more than 50% of the dollar sales in the hair coloring subcategory. An out-of-stock on any of these items represents a significant loss of sales.
____ Clairol Frost & Tip Blonde
____ L'Oreal Frost & Design Kit
____ L'Oreal Preference 5 Medium Brown
____ Nice n Easy 98 Extra Light Brown
____ Nice n Easy 122 Black
____ Nice n Easy 124 Blue Black
Sandra Levy. Hair coloring has drugstores seeing green.