Hair and beauty salon chain Enrich has ventured into retailing of beauty and personal care products. All the new Enrich outlets will now have a prominent retail section. Vivek Bali speaks to Venkata Susmita Biswas about the company’s beauty retail foray, revival of the salon business, its private label ambitions, and more.
In FY21, your revenue is estimated to have declined by 20-25% over FY20. Are you on course for recovery in FY22?
The recovery after the second wave has been healthy. From August to October, our business has been growing rapidly across all regions. Some markets that have stood out are Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. Our business during Diwali 2021 was at 106% of Diwali 2019. Further, in the run-up to Diwali, we registered more than 100% growth in sales over 2019. The average ticket size per customer has gone up by almost about 20% over pre-pandemic times as people are opting for more services when they visit.
What prompted your offline retail foray? Was it the steep drop in salon visits during the pandemic?
The offline retail foray was planned before the pandemic; the implementation took place during the pandemic. We wanted our customers to not just come to us for beauty services, but also buy the products they like. These large-format stores will be 3,000-3,500 sq ft in area. Each will stock 70-80 brands across make-up, fragrances, haircare and skincare, and offer all our beauty services, too. We will stock everything from masstige brands to premium and luxury brands.
All new Enrich stores will have both beauty services and beauty retail. The advantage we have is that most of our customers who seek beauty services visit us every month. In the case of other beauty retailers, customers may not visit them at the same frequency.
We plan to launch six to eight such retail-plus-services stores every year. The store expansion focus will be on six cities at first — Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara. We will also open stores in Delhi, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Chennai.
How does Enrich plan to stand out, especially now that several D2C beauty brands are opening up offline stores?
The differentiator for us is that we will be a one-stop shop for all things beauty — beauty services and beauty products. And that is the uniqueness nobody else is offering in the country. We have some brands that are exclusive to our stores. Every section in the store will have an experience zone. For example, in make-up, we are offering free mini makeovers. We will teach customers how to create a look or use certain products. They can also get mini facials and learn about cleansers, moisturisers, etc. They can also buy custom-made lipsticks at our stores. There is a nail bar and hair styling counter, too. The paid services offered will include hair-cuts, facials, manicures and pedicures, waxing, etc.
With the launch of offline retail stores, how much revenue do you aim to extract from the sale of beauty products?
About 60-70% of the store will be dedicated to beauty retail. The beauty services business will continue to grow. At the same time, the contribution of beauty retail will increase. A small store could stock about 40 brands, whereas a large one might have 80 brands. We expect that, in the long run, almost 60% of our business will come from beauty retail, while beauty services will form the remaining 40%. However, beauty services will account for a large chunk of revenue in terms of value of services sold.
What are you doing to strengthen your e-commerce play?
We will be launching our e-commerce portal in a month. With that, we will execute an omnichannel strategy, integrating our stores with the e-commerce platform. Customers can either buy online or place the order online and pick the product up from the store, or pay at the store and have the products delivered home. In addition, people will be able to book services online and accumulate loyalty points that can be redeemed.
What are your private label ambitions?
We introduced our own skincare brand, Born Ethical, four months ago. It is a clean beauty range — paraben-free, formaldehyde-free, vegan and cruelty-free. We use these for our services in stores and sell them, too. We plan to expand into haircare, personal care, and launch make-up products under this brand.