Whether you’re pro-Starbucks or not, it’s hard to deny the appeal of the coffee corporation’s branding: no matter where you are in the world, you can expect the same quality, taste, design and products.
That consistency and standard of service is exactly what one Boston-based CEO is expecting to do with MiniLuxe, her six-location nail salon chain. In fact, in Sue Thirlwall’s words, she wants to “Starbucks the nail salon” and expand nationally.
One thing is for certain: if there was ever a time to strike when the iron’s hot, it would be now. The nail salon industry has developed into a booming $7.3 billion industry, and now widely offers everything from shellac manicures to nail art in salons across North America.
Also, as Thirlwall pointed out, nail polish and nail grooming still managed to do well during the recession, perhaps because of their lower price points. While the makeup industry is still recovering from the economic slump and only beginning to thrive again as of late, people like Thirlwall were able to begin their companies during the recession and still do relatively well.
“We’ve kept the price down. Our luxe 30-minute manicure is $19, and we guarantee it for three days. I believe the time is right because it is definitely affordable but also hygienic . . . we know we could charge more, but we choose not to,” Thirlwall said.
One catch with the industry is that despite what seems to be a constant crop-up of new nail salons, the demand for affordable and reliable manis is still high, and it can be hard to find a place that offers them.
If Thirlwall and other nail industry entrepreneurs like her can get the business formula right, then there will undoubtedly be thousands of girls (and guys) flocking to these salon chains.
Christina Han: “Her business plan has a well-manicured lady (or gentleman) out the door in 30 minutes for less than $20. This just might work.” [The Cut]
Katie J.M. Baker: “One Venti pedicure coming up.” [Jezebel]
Paige Dzenis, associate online editor: “Based on the number of Twitter conversations I see almost daily with women asking where they can find a cheap, fast and reliable mani/pedi at any given intersection in the city, a chain of dependable salons makes sense for the nail needs of the average customer. Let’s just hope they focus first on mimicking Starbucks’ impressive quality control measures before they go for geographical domination.”
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