As diversion of salon brands accelerates in the mass market, at least one specialty retail chain has decided to update its current business model to make it more competitive.
Trade Secret, the 630-unit business owned by Minneapolis-based Regis Corp., was designed to be a destination for those craving a plethora of professional hair care brands. Today, these products — which once offered up a recipe for unique positioning — are now sold in a range of retailers, from Sephora to Ulta to the neighborhood drugstore, the latter of which has become the biggest thorn in Trade Secret's side, and to the salon industry overall. The result has taken a toll: Trade Secret this year posted a 4 percent sales dip, the first decline since Regis bought it in 1992.
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