With a fresh influx of capital, hair color business Madison Reed is readying a retail rollout.
The brand has plans to open a total of 25 color bars — physical spaces that focus on color instead of all the offerings of a traditional hair salon — by the end of 2019, and has hired former Redken master colorist David Stanko as vice president of technical design and education as part of its expansion efforts.
“These are not salons,” said Madison Reed founder and chief executive officer Amy Errett. “These are a very innovative, disruptive force in an industry that has had primarily one way of doing things.”
Stanko will oversee colorist education and be involved with research and development. Future products from Madison Reed will include an extended shade range and other types of hair products, he noted, adding that the company is keeping specific innovations “top secret.” Stanko will also spearhead the creation of an internal certification program that aims to give colorists a clear path for a future with Madison Reed, he said.
“It’s a very fresh model within the world of hair color. We haven’t seen any disruption in retail hair color in decades, it’s been same old, same old,” he said, calling Madison Reed’s approach “pro-sumer.”
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“I’m stepping away from the professional-only world — my goal is to extend the olive branch to the professional world and the home user,” Stanko said.
At Madison Reed’s color bars, people can get their roots done for $60 — a fraction of the price of traditional salons — according to Errett, who contends that while blowouts and color glosses and other salon-like services are available, the overall experience is vastly different.
“Our model is predicated on you…get whatever stylist is there, because the consistency of the training and performance of the product we believe is so superior…that you can walk into a color bar in New York or San Francisco or [a Macerich center]…and you’ll have that consistency,” Errett said. Macerich is an investor in the $25 million venture capital round Madison Reed raised in October, led by Comcast Ventures, and owns the shopping centers where the color business intends to open locations.
“They know where their customers are through their subscription and e-commerce model, and many of the zip codes where they have good penetration are exactly where we have great retail town squares,” said Art Coppola, chairman and chief executive officer of Macerich. “The reason it’s attractive to me is there is, to some degree, a non-discretionary use. Once you start coloring you pretty much have to do it every six weeks. It drives trips to our town squares. The locations where the color bars will be [are ones] where we have other offerings we think the [color bar customer] will find attractive.”