Walmart, traditionally known as the biggest discount store in town and historically has had the reputation of drawing the majority of its clients from the lower income level. Target has always been a rival of Walmart, carrying generally the same items in stock but usually at a higher price and Target has had the reputation of drawing higher income earners in its doors. With this said, both stores carry the same items with Walmart being lower priced but the main difference is the culture in the stores and the shopping experience that is to be had.
In the beginning of the recession an interesting thing happened between these two stores, many of the high income earners stopped shopping at Target, did what they considered to be trading down and started shopping at Walmart to save money. At this stage of the economic downturn customers were willing to give up the better shopping experience to save more money and at the same time many of the other competing retailers went out of business. Fast forward to today where the economy has begun to recover giving people more confidence in their finances and what has happened is the customers who left Target to save money have returned for, once again the different culture and better shopping experience.
How does this relate to your business? What happened between Walmart and Target is a good lesson to learn when it comes to your own salon or spa. Clients either want the cheapest or the best and they are generally loyal to their preferences. You may see a temporary change in business due to a major shift in the economy but, in very few instances will you see a client change their buying preferences permanently. What this means for salons and spas that are still standing after the recession is that clients will return to you if you are willing to fulfill the experience they are seeking even if this means your prices are higher. So the question remains…is your salon a Walmart – cheap, quick and no frills or is your salon a Target – Starbucks, pleasant and a place you can linger?
The economy is improving and it is time to capitalize on the growth available to you. To do this you need to define your business and what you want your customer to experience. I recommend reading the Secret Service by John DiJulius to get great direction on defining your customer experience. After you have a clear definition of your business you will be able to decide on the best way to market your new vision to your waiting customers so they can easily find you.
By: Heather Lemere/Salon Success Strategies