5th January 2024
Are you one of the many hairdressers up and down the UK who received the shocking news that your ‘professional brands’ had been put onto the UK’s biggest chemist store website and in a ‘trial’ branch? How did you react to the news? I’m presuming most of you would had initially thought about throwing the products out, and then immediately followed that thought through with ‘contractual obligations’.
Most product companies, in all aspects of business, encourage their customers to sign a contract tying them in to a period of time, committing them to stocking new products when they are launched, and building a payback into the deal to act as a sweetener. It is this, I believe that has put many salon owners off the idea of changing brands, because, let’s face it, being tied into a contract is a legally binding agreement. Or is it?
If you have been watching the (very dramatic TV) drama Mr Bates vs The Post Office you will have seen that even the biggest corporations contracts can be found to be at fault or not worth the paper they are printed on.
A good friend of mine who is a specialist in contractual law suggests your binding agreement might not stand up in court. Check the fine print, does it state that you will stock ‘salon professional – salon exclusive’ products. Is there a sentence, or a paragraph that specifically mentions your suppliers commitment to providing salon only products. if there is anything that relates to your business and the products you use and recommend being salon based then it might well be that your contract has been broken by the supplier, in which case you have your ‘GET OUT CLAUSE’.
Dig that contract out, check it out or get a legal expert to cast their eyes over it, you might well be surprised.
Of course I appreciate many of you will have loans with these companies, another way they tie you into staying with them, but I believe most of their competitors would gladly help you out in settling that debt.
There are a myriad of SALON EXCLUSIVE brand available, from giant manufacturers that offer salon based and mass market brands (* it’s a must do for these corporations and is an acceptable way of creating bigger brand awareness) to medium and smaller organisations committed 100% to the world of salon products.
Make that change, it might well be one of the best decisions you ever make for your business, your team, your clients and you!
I’m more than happy to discuss brands that are out there that might be of interest to you – note, I am not paid by any product company to promote their goods.
* I accept that all product companies need to make money and to build awareness of their brands. To that end I understand wholeheartedly that supermarkets and chemist are a necessary part of their stockists, as are online web stores. I also accept that some brands might well be seen in high end department stores, that too is a must do for them. What I object to is ‘salon professional’ products, more than 400 of them being placed onto this giant chemists website and in a store… which by the way also has an area where you can receive colour recommendations from their ‘expert’ without any thought for the hairdressers who have stocked them for years, the sales people who visit salons and the educators who have to face the barrage of abuse this event has generated.