Oz Hair & Beauty is expanding its offline presence, with the launch of three new bricks-and-mortar stores. The brand already has one store in Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building, which offers salon style services. The new stores, two of which opened in Erina Fair and Castle Towers last month, are more focused on selling products and giving customers the opportunity to try before they buy. The third store will launch soon in Charlestown Square. The new stores are part of a wider pu
der push into the physical retail space, Oz Hair & Beauty’s chief executive Anthony Nappa (pictured, left) told Inside Retail, and come after a significant investment from Edison Growth Fund, BBRC, and Accent Group CEO Daniel Agostinelli in 2021.
“Our goal is to provide our customers with the best possible shopping experience and offer them the highest quality hair and beauty products,” Nappa said.
Chasing profit offline
Until now, Oz Hair & Beauty has predominantly focused on its online offering. The move offline comes as customers show a greater willingness to shop in-store following the end of pandemic lockdowns.
“The last year has been about e-commerce, but that growth has started to slow,” Nappa said.
“It’s still ahead, but it’s not seeing the growth it was during the pandemic. At the same time, we’ve seen huge success with our QVB store, which we launched in October.”
Nappa said that the salon store has become more profitable than its e-commerce operations when adjusted for size, largely due to the outsized cost of customer acquisition online.
Given the fact that the new stores are in close proximity to the majority of its customers, the business is expecting Oz Hair & Beauty to become more profitable as it adds new stores to its roster.
While the new stores are primarily catered toward products, rather than services, each store will have a salon chair and mirror for customers to experiment with new products, and test what works and what doesn’t. The business largely employs former hairdressers, who are able to showcase products to customers, even with these smaller facilities.
“When you’re a hairdresser, and you’re doing someone’s hair, it’s easy to upsell someone to a product that is going to make their hair look better in the moment,” Nappa explained.
“We sell a lot of styling products, and there are a lot of products customers can try, so we’re hoping those hairdressing stations will help customers to pick the right products for them.”
And while the business is starting off with just three stores, it’s looking to launch a further 10 stores by the end of the next financial year, which would give it 14 stores total across Australia.
A long time coming
Oz Hair & Beauty’s push into physical retail hasn’t been a quick decision. Last year, Nappa spoke to Inside Retail and said the stores were slated for launch last July. The plan, Nappa said, was to “get four right, then double down and keep doing more as we get it right”.
Oz Hair & Beauty is coming off a period of rapid growth, thanks to the beauty boom experienced throughout the pandemic, when more Australians than ever before experimented with their beauty routines.
And while lockdowns have ended, the beauty business is still growing. According to Statista, the beauty and personal care market is expected to grow 2.76 per cent each year until 2027, and is currently worth US$6.72 billion.