From 800 ft2 Beauty Supply Store to 13-store Retail Enterprise
Kyoon W. Seok, the Founder of Beauty 4 U
The Washington Metropolitan sphere, alleged “ DMV ”, includes Washington DC and parts of Maryland and Virginia. In addition to 11 stores in DMV, Beauty 4 U has a location in California, making a 13-store smasher provision enterprise. The average retail deck runs 24,000 square feet in size carrying 40,000 items, and they are run methodically by its 160 employees. Its founder Kyoon W. Seok has worked in the hair industry for more than 30 years. Hence, you can confidently say that he saw it all. cipher would beat him in his affection toward and knowledge about the beauty industry, which is indisputably the lifeblood of the korean american businesses. We interviewed him about the past, portray and the future of the beauty supply, and subsequently general operations coach Eric Hong walked us through the flagship store of Beauty 4 U .
$28,000 Monthly Sales at a 800 sq. ft. Retail Space on $230 Rent
What brought Mr. Suk into the smasher provide business ? Before he engaged in the beauty provide business, Mr. Suk was a CPA. As CPAs handle the fiscal aspects of businesses, they inescapably learn confidential information about their clients. As a result, once a company retains a CPA, it sticks with their choice. It was quite a struggle for Mr. Suk to build a customer root. In a manner to cope with the struggle, he lent his hands to his buddy who ran a smasher issue storehouse, which was quite modest. however, he considered it as a slope gig and continued working in an function as a CPA. The slope gig was going well, probably besides well. “ Around late ’ 80s and early ’ 90s in Chicago, commercial lease for 800 public square feet ran about $ 230 a calendar month, and in that space we made $ 28,000 a calendar month. The minimum wage at the fourth dimension was $ 4. consequently, you could run the store with three employees without the involvement of the owner, so I thought ‘ this business is for real. ’ And I committed myself. ”
Despite the Successful Business, He Owned His First Home at Age 50
How does a business grow from an 800 sq. ft. individual store to a 13-store chain ? Most beauty supply stores at the time were family-owned small businesses, indeed called mom-and-pop shops. A match could live comfortably off a beauty supply store. many storehouse owners tended to spend the money as they earned. They bought big houses and cars and exhausted money on travel. “ I was not concern in spending money. I didn ’ t have hobbies, nor did I like luxury goods. then, despite the successful commercial enterprise, because I invested all the net income into the business, I owned my own family at my old age 50. ” reportedly, business is his hobby. A beauty supply memory with a chandelier and a piano was lone possible because of the consistent reinvestment, he emphasizes .
The First of the Thirteen, the Grand Opening of Beauty 4 U was Saddening
In 2000s, when he opened the first Beauty 4 U storehouse in a 6,000 sq. ft. retail distance, they said it would fail. There was in fact a newsworthiness article stating it as a anserine move. In the midst of this negativity, some haircloth companies refused to do clientele with him. “ I learned later that the companies thought the memory would be out of business soon. ” He smiles as he looks back into his by, but the reality at the time was a storehouse carrying lone a handful of brands. As the store was huge in size, specially during the dawn hours when the sales associates tended to visit, the store was quite empty. A little store can look pretty busy with 5 to 6 customers, but twice many customers would not make a large retail space look crowded. Nevertheless, the pleasant shopping environment increased the modal spending of a customer who enjoyed spend time at the shop. “ In the beginning, it looked like an out-of-business store, but the vendors who had contracts with us knew that the business was going well based on the repeat buy orders and on-time payments, ” says Mr. Suk refreshing his memories .
Consistent Investment Online and Offline
now, we surely want to know where Mr. Suk is focusing on for his investment. Beauty 4 U continues to make reinvestment in retail interiors and arrangement. Like everyone, it closed the door for about two months due to Covid-19, and it turned the crisis into an opportunity by reorganizing the storehouse with curbside pickups. “ It was unmanageable to remodel the retail floor while the business stayed open, so we remodeled six out of 11 stores in DMV. We besides installed a POS system customized to beauty supply stores to grasp all the data about tax income, stock, trends, and so on easily. ”
They made a few attempts to ride the tides of on-line business, but they had launched it without necessary preparations as to workforce. The on-line business arm could not be in full functional at the clock time. “ We reopened the on-line business with a destine on-line commercial enterprise team after the trials and errors, and it has shown better than expected casual traffic due to the pandemic, ” explained General Manager Eric Hong who stayed with Mr. Suk for the interview. Mr. Suk is not from an internet generation, so he delegates unfamiliar assign of the works to professionals. The on-line business team runs social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook to communicate with the customers directly .
In addition, smasher supplies are presently focusing on african american customers, but they want to attract more and more spanish american and white customers in the future .
Beauty 4 U Online Store: http://www.beauty4u.com
The Secret of Running 13 Stores
When asked about his secret of running 13 stores, he responded with two key aspects of the commercial enterprise operation .
#1. Complete Control by Managers and Systematic Analysis
“ We have 160 employees on the payroll at Beauty 4 U. An constitution this big can not be managed singlehandedly by the owner. The data team at the head-office analyzes trends and fluctuations and relays the operation plans to the hair, wig, and store managers at each storehouse. Before Covid-19, we had in-person meetings monthly, but now we communicate via electronic mail .
#2. Transparent Operations
“ Especially during the pandemic, I heard many businesses lost their opportunity to enroll in the Paycheck Protection Program because they failed to do proper tax reports on employees. Although foil sounds baleful and feels like taking a detour, it shouldn ’ thymine be. Thanks to the PPP, all discharged employees were compensated for lost engage and came binding to work later. even when it comes to masks, we believe we should make an example and merely sell officially approved ones. even if an item is sought after and sells well, if there is a little prospect of disturb, we don ’ metric ton sell them. ”
What He Wants to Say to Beauty Supply Owners and Managers across the Country
Day by day, offline-focused beauty supplies are facing increasing risk. Nevertheless, smasher supplies will play an important character in the future as they did in the by. Of course, the existential question of beauty supplies should change. When the retail landscape including on-line and offline stores is changing, your customers will leave you if you do not keep up with the on-line course and consumer opinion .
You need to start thinking about providing a valid answer to why a customer should pay a visit to your storehouse alternatively of shopping at Amazon.com based on strategies revolving around customer experience. The business environment is changing very fast, and the danger is at hand for smasher supplies. The first object should be realizing that customers ’ anticipation and perspectives of denounce have changed .
To bring customers into your store, you need to look at the products in the shoes of the customers ampere good as to consider their experience and follow through changes to bring values and services they seek. You need to make an environment in favor of the easy and desirable denounce experience alternatively of focusing on the public toilet of store management. While specific implementations would differ from store to store, the fundamental is that you should motivate customers to come to your storehouse. last, I want you to be proactive than passively responding to changes, meaning you should take a eminence of issues beyond the at hand threat faced by your business .
A Store Tour with Beauty 4 U General Manager Eric
General Manager Eric at Beauty 4 U majored in retail business and worked in smasher supply operations for 15 years, but he passionately says he has learned a fortune during the pandemic and means to keep learn. Guided by him, we checked out every detail of the flagship store of Beauty 4 U and its operations .
Hot Sellers are on Display at the Entrance
Edge Booster, Got2B sprays, BW2 bleach powder, hair growth oils are popular sellers, and Cantu, Crème of Nature, and Moroccanoil are among the hottest brands. The pandemic make clippers and nail products circus tent sellers. Eyelashes that are visible when you are wearing a mask are steadily popular amongst makeup products. For these products, we have a dedicate section at the entrance for an easy entree. For customers who can not go to salons, wigs are besides popular .
Section for Covid-19 Goods
Hand sanitizers, masks, latex gloves, face shields, etc are at a location near the cash file. For guard concerns, we are not accepting returns for all products .
Anti-theft Stickers for Small Items
To prevent larceny of modest items specially vulnerable to shoplifting, including eyelashes and sass products, we have sticker tags and security guards at the entrance. We use Zonetech brand anti-theft stickers .
Keep Your Store Safe from Covid-19
We installed acryl shields for every cash register, and we placed floor stickers made by our design team every six feet to promote customers ’ social outdistance .
Wheeled Store Displays and a Grand Piano
All display shelves and racks have wheels, so you can easily move them to a desired localization. Another interesting fact is that we have a grand piano within the store. On weekends and during events, we invite pianists for bouncy performance. It creates a especial atmosphere .
A Spacious Wig Section Pleasant to Your Eyes
A director and an assistant avail customers at a well-organized wig section. We use proprietorship tags designed by our purpose team rather of manufacturers ’ tags for wig mannequins .
Continuous Support to African American Community
What you see in the photograph is a beauty educate in Washington D.C. of which Beauty 4 U is a sponsor. We donated hand sanitizers and masks in addition to our annual donations made in diverse manners. In accession, as our storehouse has meaning charm on DMV ’ mho african American residential district, we carry locally manufactured goods. Customers are happy to see them .
New Promotions Every Month with Customized Designs by the Design Team at the Head-office
Every calendar month, we run a new forwarding. Our purpose team produces a promotional poster at the head-office. For example, in June we reopened the shop with Welcome Sale ; in July we ran Summer Sale ; in August we extended Summer Sale in stead of then-planned Back-to-School Sale because of the local school closure ; and in September we will run In Store Sale focusing on items that need to be cleared of inventory or overstocked at individual stores. In October, we plan to hold Halloween Sale.
We normally promote hot sellers for a given month or seasonal products, and we offer discounts for vendor-promoted items or products we procured at an advantageous price .
Read more: Can Black People Get Head Lice?
Reward Program to Lure Back Customers
Throughout the retail floor, we placed Beauty 4 U ’ s own QR codes that customers can scan with their smartphones to access our on-line shop. We offer 3 % reward for every leverage, which is available through a keychain card, but a mobile option is coming .