Frédéric Fekkai Buys Back His Brand

Frédéric Fekkai, in partnership with Cornell Capital LLC, has taken back the brand he started by acquiring Frédéric Fekkai Brands.

Fekkai Brands creates hair and body care products, including shampoos, conditioners, treatments, hair fragrances and styling products. Additionally, the company owns and operates a number of salons across the US.

Fekkai, who founded his namesake brand in 1996, sold it in 2008 to Procter & Gamble. P&G then sold the brand in 2015 to a joint venture formed between the CEOs of Designer Parfums and Luxe Brands.  The ownership group selling off the company includes Dilesh Mehta, Tony Bajaj, Joel Ronkin and Amy Sachs

Blue Mistral LLC, a holding company founded by Fekkai and Cornell Capital, will own and operate Fekkai Brands together with Bastide, a fast-growing Provence-based provider of luxury fragrances and hand and body care products that Fekkai has led since 2017. As CEO of Blue Mistral, Fekkai will further accelerate the growth of the Fekkai Brands and salons by placing a heightened emphasis on education, innovation and the customer’s overall experience while leveraging opportunities for collaboration with Bastide.

“I am thrilled to rejoin Fekkai Brands and eager to reconnect with the salons, teams and consumers,” said Fekkai. “This acquisition will provide me the opportunity to reinfuse my passion for innovation into the brand, while reigniting its growth and guiding Fekkai Brands through its next chapter in a modern and exciting way.”

“The opportunity to partner with Frédéric, a proven entrepreneur in the beauty sector, as he returns to the helm of his iconic brand is truly compelling,” said Henry Cornell, senior partner of Cornell Capital. “Leveraging Cornell Capital’s cross-border network and operational expertise, and Frédéric’s deep relationships and reputation within the industry, Fekkai Brands is well-positioned to succeed in the growing global cosmetics and personal care industry.”

Ronkin, exiting CEO of Fekkai Brands added, “Frédéric is an accomplished entrepreneur with a proven track record of building highly desirable brands. We are confident that his return to the Company will be instrumental in fueling its growth and driving innovation.”

Regis is closing SmartStyle salons in 600 Walmarts

Regis Corporation, the hair care chain based in Edina, has announced it will be closing 600 “nonperforming” Regis SmartStyle salons, which are located inside Walmarts, on Jan 31. It will leave it with 2,000 other salons, also located within Walmarts, with the decision being taken “to improve shareholder value and position the company for long-term growth.”  It’s not been announced yet which Smart Styles will close, with Regis saying it will offer stylists and managers jobs at other locations, as it intends to grow the salons it’s keeping.

According to the Regis website, there are currently 39 SmartStyle salons at Walmart locations in Minnesota. While the closing locations have not yet been revealed, it’s probable that at least some of those affected will be in Minnesota. Most of the state’s Smart-Style salons are found in Walmart’s outside of the Twin Cities. Salons in the metro area are located at Maple Grove, Blaine, Brooklyn Center, Burnsville, Lakeville and Shakopee Walmarts. The Business Journal notes that Regis’ move to close the company-owned locations comes after a period of months in which its sold 1,000 of its other salons to a private equity firm and hundreds more SmartStyle locations to franchisees. It comes despite Congress recently passing a tax bill that will cut corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent, which is expected to significantly reduce major companies’ bottom lines. But CEO Hugh Sawyer said the decision is “consistent with our multi-year strategic plan” that will allow it to grow its remaining salons.

Regis CEO Hugh Sawyer said that the closings of the “nonperforming” locations was another step in the company’s efforts to restructure its business. The company has been working to re franchise many of its company-owned stores and improve performance at the locations it’s holding onto. Regis splits its business between value-based brands, like Smart Style and Supercuts, and premium brands like Regis Salon. Sawyer took over as CEO last April, replacing Dan Hanrahan. Previously, Sawyer had worked at Chicago-based Huron Consulting Group, which Regis had hired to help it evaluate strategic moves for some of its salons. Since then, Regis has sold 1,000 salons to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Regent, sold hundreds of other SmartStyle locations to franchisees and closed other company-owned sites.

“Regis is committed to maintaining our leadership position in the salon industry,” Sawyer said in a statement. “As a result, we are making significant strategic and operational changes to our business to increase customer traffic, invest in new technologies, decrease non-strategic costs, expand our franchise capabilities and create a new Eco-system for customer interaction.” Regis said it doesn’t plan any further moves in its SmartStyle salon portfolio for the near future. It’s not clear how many employees will be affected; Regis said that it plans to offer many stylists and managers jobs at other locations. Regis ranked No. 25 on the Business Journal’s list of largest public companies in Minnesota last year with revenue of $1.75 billion. That revenue is expected to decline this year; prior to the latest round of closings, analysts had forecast 2018 revenue of about $1.25 billion.


High-End Salon Business Is Nearing Its End?


Traditional salon business is struggling. Sprawling salons with fancy addresses owned by celebrity stylists are on their way to extinction if they don’t evolve. Gone are the days where the salon was the one-stop shop for all beauty needs. Better, faster, more affordable options have taken significant market share, leaving high-end salons struggling to compete and cover their overhead.

The slow death of the high-end salon:

  1. Deal Chasing – Services like Gilt, Groupon, and LifeBooker gave smaller salons offering steep discounts a competitive edge, taking business from higher-end salons.
  2. DIY – YouTube and Instagram how-to content replaced the advice and guidance of high-end stylists.
  3. Beauty Bars – Hyper-focused boutiques specializing in facials, brows, waxing, blowouts, and lashes for a fraction of the cost.
  4. On Demand – Where you want it, when you want it services appeal to the Uber generation.
  5. Salon Culture – Approximately 60 percent of hairstylists are freelance, and salons have a reputation for being mismanaged and run poorly. On the other side of the equation, startups like Dry bar and Glam squad continually invest in stylist education and technology.

Racked summarizes it best, “If Dry bar is known for easy, flawless blowouts and Glam-squad is reliable for fast, at-home services, what do the hundreds of local salons have left to offer customers?” One thing is certain: the traditional salon model needs to evolve or high-end salons will become extinct.

Fear The Shear

fear the shear

Started and crafted by Jay Christian Hairdresser in Delaware, and also one of the characters in my next Documentary, The Beautiful Lies”.  This group will collectively serve as a catalyst for change in the beauty industry by restoring the power for the professional, raising awareness of organizations that support this mission, by resisting market penetration of any organization with bipolar marketing strategies; engaging in diversion and unfair pricing practices. We will inspire new talent to expand their way of thinking and to take conscious steps toward restoring power, pride, and prestige to this industry.

Some of the topics of this group come with a wide range of idea’s and personnel philosophy’s. Below are a few of the articles that are debated on this social networking site.

1.  If you can’t measure it, it’s not worth doing. Goals are immensely important to mapping growth. Do you set goals for your staff?  Yourself?  Which ones are most important in our profession?

2.  Just doing what you love won’t make you successful. You’ve got to go after success hard. Never let up. Read everything about the business you love. Learn the BUSINESS of the business you love. Find a mentor. Be a mentor. Get up, dress for it, practice until your icons become your peers. No just loving what you do will not make you successful. Passion, practice, grit, and drive do.

3. That time to is now. We have been holding back because change takes effort. While you’ve been in a state of plausible deniability, they are transferring profits out from under you. Who is willing to seriously make a change? We’ve talked long enough.

4. When someone uses the word “discount” in their marketing idea I cringe. You don’t have to undersell yourself to get clients, you just have to bring value. Do something to show yourself and your salon in a positive light as community contributors, as socially conscientious, you get it. Otherwise, you lower the client’s perception of your value.

Good Luck Jay Christian hope you can change your industry!

Check out the Network My Friends  FEAR THE SHEAR

Salon Voices Review of “The Real Hair Truth”


Being pampered is one of the major draws of the salon experience.  However, feeling like your service was catered especially for you is priceless.  The more you know about someone, the better you can customize your services to fit their needs.  

Joseph Kellner makes some strong relevant points in Real Hair and gives some very helpful tips for developing a rapport with a client through active listening.  Engage your customer with open-ended questions to elicit a more detailed response.  As they respond, make sure you pay attention to what they are saying.  Do not assume that you understood everything they said.  Always restate their answer to make sure there is no miscommunication.

Once you figure out your clients individual needs, you become a more effective seller of your products.  As you are doing their hair, you can explain how the products work.  By having knowledge about the product and seeing immediate results, the client is more likely to purchase the product for their personal use when they cannot make it to the salon. 

Personalizing the promotions you offer can also boost customer retention.   One of Joseph Kellner’s motto’s for great customer service is “discovering new ways to delight the ones you serve.” Let’s say you have a client that is a teacher, you could give them a public servant discount.  Working in the school system allows your client to be exposed to all sorts of people in the community.  When they mention to others that your salon supports teachers, that helps solidify your brand as one that gives back to the community. 

Salon Voices is the leader in Social Networking Operations and Reputation Management focused on salons. The challenge of promoting your salon’s accurate images rests in your hands. Salon Voices delivers the true face of your hard earned reputation to your current and potential customers. Salon Voices combines social networking reviews with confidential insight from your regular and consistent customers to give you a concise analysis of your business. For more information visit