Nails industry outlook 2016

NAILS CENTER UNITED STATES Magazine started doing research on the professional nail industry in 1990, publishing what we called then The NAILS Fact Book. We ran four pages of information that we got from an industry association and included an entire entry on nail jewelry and “artificial nails.” In 2015, we collect nearly all  our own data and have broken down the “artificial nails” category into five individual areas. 1990 was my first year with the magazine and compiling this important industry data has been my personal privilege for 25 years. It has become a little more work every year, but I hope it continues to be valuable to our readers. I know just how closely  people follow these statistics because of the calls we get from readers. We received an email several months ago from a nail tech who was facing a tax audit and was relying on information published in last year’s Big Book to get her out of a very serious situation.

In honor of the 25th anniversary of our publishing the industry’s only market statistics, we’ve gone back to look at the most significant changes in the market. In some cases, there has been very little change (which is dispiriting because the areas that haven’t changed enough, in our opinion, are the prices for your services). The areas of greatest change are in new services and web resources (not only was Instagram not on the radar in 1990, the internet itself wasn’t!).

We faced a controversy this year with the publication of a New York Times article on nail salons, exploited workers, and health concerns. The article was widely circulated in the spring, caused  an uproar in our circle, but then died down considerably. But even that hasn’t changed much in 25 years: In 1990 there were plenty of consumer news stories outlining what was wrong with nail salons and most of them, as now, centered around salons that were operating illegally (and in the case this year, immorally). You’ll see on the  opposite page how the article impacted both our readers and their customers.

I thank those of you who responded to  the surveys that helped us compile this information and to those of you who stay in touch with us and share your challenges and successes. What hasn’t changed one iota in 25 years is the deep commitment and genuine love that nail professionals have for their work, their clients, and their colleagues. I won’t be here 25 years hence, but I know that will never change.

 

WHAT IS SPENT ON NAIL SERVICES?

WHAT IS SPENT ON NAIL SERVICES?
WHAT IS SPENT ON NAIL SERVICES?

We asked nail professionals about their biggest technical and business challenges, and they are the perennials: building a clientele, keeping business competitive, finding staff, and improving technical speed. This year, more nail techs were concerned about staying on top of technology (especially social media) and were concerned about client  loss to doit-yourselfers.

5 BIGGEST TECHNICAL CHALLENGES

5 BIGGEST TECHNICAL CHALLENGES
5 BIGGEST TECHNICAL CHALLENGES

 

5 BIGGEST BUSINESS CHALLENGES

5 BIGGEST BUSINESS CHALLENGES
5 BIGGEST BUSINESS CHALLENGES

 

METHODOLOGY

How do we get this data?

  • We did an online survey our readership and online users.
  • We surveyed the readers of VietSALON, our Vietnamese language publication for salon professionals.
  • We conducted monthly polls of our online users of NailsMag.com.
  • We gathered the wisdom of our NAILS team, who travel regularly visiting salons and seeing nail technicians in their natural habitats.
  • We pulled third-party data, including from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, the state boards of cosmetology, business license databases, and others.

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT MATTER TO YOU IF PROFESSIONAL NAIL PRODUCTS ARE SOLD EXCLUSIVELY TO PROFESSIONALS AND NOT THE GENERAL PUBLIC?*

It matters a lot. I think professional brands should sell only to nail professionals. 81%

When manufacturers sell theirproducts at consumer outlets, it hurts my business because the products aren’t considered “special.” 41%

I only buy products from companies that I know are committed to nail professionals. 32%

It bothers me a LOT. Our business is so competitive and we need every advantage we can get, including having exclusive products. 31%

It makes me very mad when I see so-called professional brands in drugstores and other stores. 29%

My services are professional and I offer a unique service, so it doesn’t bother me if my clients can get the products themselves. They still can’t do nails like I can. 20%

There are so many places to get “professional” nail products that it doesn’t matter that much. 5%

I don’t think it matters that much. 4%

It doesn’t matter to me at all where products are sold. 3%

 

DO YOU THINK THE STORY AFFECTED YOUR BUSINESS?*

I think it had a positive effect because my salon is a quality salon and very different from the salons in the story. 22%

It affected my business negatively because I had to explain to clients what I do RIGHT. 3%

Yes, I noticed an effect for a little while, but it has died down. 1%

No, I don’t think the story had any effect on my business. 51%

No, it didn’t affect my business, but I know of salons that were affected. 4%

I don’t know anything about this story. 25%