international brands Aug, 12 2014

International beauty salon brands buoyant on India expansion

Check out why India is regarded as the safest haven for international beauty salon brands to make profits the franchise way

By Amanpreet Kaur, TFW Bureau
Chief Sub Editor
International beauty salon brands buoyant on India expansion

What is so unique about brands like Saks London, Jean Claude Biguine, Toni & Guy, Warren Tricomi and Truefitt & Hill? Well, they are all international beauty salon chains that have entered India’s growing salon industry to groom and style the Indians. International beauty salon chains have surprisingly casted its spell on consumers and have turned out to be preferred spot for salon goers to treat themselves with exquisite services. So far, salon market in India is growing briskly and attracting more and more international labels to the Indian market. Among the international salon chains –the French Brand –Jean Claude Biguine, London based –Toni & Guy have now strongly cemented their base in India and are exploring the market for profitable returns. These brands are giving tough competition to popular homegrown brands such as – Jawed Habib Hair & Beauty Salon, Naturals Beauty Salon, Lakme, b:blunt, Shahnaz Husain,  Strands and many more.

In the list of latest entrants into Indian market are – London-based oldest barber shop –Truefitt & Hill, which has lately marked its entry in India via Lloyds Luxuries Ltd. Another brand Dessange International –French Hair Salon Chain lately entered India foresees to open 20-25 luxury and mid-segment salons in India over the next four years. The 700-million Euro group will operate its luxury brand Dessange and mid-segment brand Camille Albane in the country through a franchise tie-up with Mark Dessange Salon and Spa. One more entrant in Salon biz which is soon going to unveil its first outlet in India is – New York’s Warren Tricomi.

Many brands from personal care segment are now tapping the salon industry to increase their market share in India. For instance, Brillare Science which caters to personal care segment which will be target upcoming salon chains to offer its diverse product range that intends to offer quick results to customers. Similarly, MEGAKONNECT, the partnership firm that launched the brand Avani Dead Sea Cosmetics in India is also exploring the franchise route and looking forward to start retailing its products by opening brick and mortar stores via franchisees. Besides that, US based Seacret Premium Skincare Cosmetic brand entered India way back in 2011. Other than that, British Beauty Brand Lush, known for fresh handmade cosmetics is too anticipated to make India foray soon.

Growth propellers

With the entrance of new Government in power, India’s economy is now expected to progress at a buoyant pace. Now, people are becoming more receptive towards embracing western trends and love to treat them by opting for grooming services at well-organised brand outlets. Growing disposable income of middle class, peer pressure and ever-increasing exposure by media are some of the factors truly making India as the hottest market for high-end salon brands in India.  In fact, its customers’ willingness to spend  as long as they are getting something specifically different and much better than the regular services provided by mom and pop salons. Salon business is not about catering to women only, now men are too becoming more conscious about enhancing their looks. They not only go for haircuts or hairstyling rather they like to pamper themselves by going in for facials, manicure, pedicure, threading and many more services. The high–end brand can only survive in a new market only if it does an in-depth research pertaining to market’s worth. So, pricing and services should be carefully decided as per the customers’ spending capacity. Today cent trying out new services like hair massages or spa therapies,” as  confirmed by Indian Salon Industry report, “53 per cent male respondents visit the salon once a month and 20 per cent do it twice, with 67 per.

Opportunity ahead

As per the industry insiders, the salon business is a high margin business as even if a brand subtracts all the major expenditures covering staff, property lease, electricity and equipment even then one can earn 40 per cent in the business of beauty salons. Seeing the market pulse, Lloyds Luxuries Ltd acquired the Master Franchise License of a unique luxe barber shop Truefitt & Hill for India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar and Vietnam. The brand specialises in men’s grooming services. The brand also aims to transform the way Indian perceives men grooming and to encourage grooming for men. Lately, the brand has opened its stores Khar and Colaba, Mumbai. Talking about the brand’s plan for India, Istayak Ansari, Director, Lloyds Luxuries Ltd, says: “We will be opening five salons in Mumbai in the current financial year across premium residential pockets followed by outlets in Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and all major tier I and II cities in India. We will also set up an academy to train Indian barbers in the fine art of male grooming in the near future. In 2015, we intend to open 10 corporate owned stores. We intend to open 40+ stores by 2019 and 100+ stores by 2024 across the India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar and Maldives. Of the total stores to be opened 50 per cent will be corporate owned.”  Those who want to take first mover advantage by becoming their partners in growth – the brand looks for someone who is passionate about the wellness and beauty business, have management and financial bandwidth to set up multiple stores. For opening Truefitt & Hill franchise, the investment will range from Rs 1.25 crore to Rs 1.5 crore and area of 1,000 to 1, 500 sq.ft is entailed.

As the trends are changing every passing year, you will see plethora of high-end and luxury foreign beauty chains making their way into India’s growing beauty and wellness industry. Several factors such as transforming work culture, lifestyles, media exposure and brand awareness is creating more growth opportunities for internationally reckoned brands. It’s expected that India’s beauty salon industry will become more organised in the near future.

Related: How International brands evaluate foreign model for the Indian market

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