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Blow Salons Win Over Customers

While many salons are seeing less foot traffic due to cash-strapped customers, Blow reaped in a 20 percent sales increase for 2008.

Blow’s new product line.

While many salons are seeing less foot traffic due to cash-strapped customers, Blow reaped in a 20 percent sales increase for 2008, which includes sales at the firm’s two Manhattan-based blow dry bars, as well as its product line.

This story first appeared in the February 6, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Blow co-founder Stuart Sklar said one reason for the firm’s growth is that women — who are spending less on cuts — are looking to preserve their styles by seeking the best blow out, a service that runs about $40 at Blow, a fraction of the cost of a cut, which can average around $100.

The secret to Blow’s success, said Sklar, is its concept. “These are extraordinary economic times. No one is bold enough to say beauty is recession-proof. But, good beauty concepts are recession resistant,” he said.

Blow, opened four years ago in the Meat Packing District at 342 West 14th Street, expanded last year to the Upper East Side on 843 Lexington Ave.

In addition to blow outs, which are its specialty, Blow also offers cuts, color, manicures, pedicures and waxing services.

The company is also relaunching its product line, which originally came out two years ago, to focus entirely on achieving the perfect blow out and address three key things: damage, results and long-lasting style. The key, said Sklar, is a pure protein-rich blend of nine different ingredients, to make a weightless, efficacious formula that is also free of sulfates, parabens, detergents and artificial fillers. There are 15 products in all, four of which are brand new, including Blow Up Root Lift Concentrate, Faux Dry Shampoo, The Perfect Shower Cap and Tress Relief, a leave-in conditioning treatment. Products will debut on QVC, Feb. 11, with a one-hour show, marking a first for the electronic retailer, which generally introduces new brands with shorter segments. The products are also looking to grow into about 500 stores nationwide by the end of the year, up from 75, as a result of an alliance with a soon-to-be-announced specialty retailer.