Back-to-School Merchandising Ideas for Beauty Businesses

For many families across the US August and September are back-to-school months and pose as a second “new year” of the annual calendar. This is a period of transition from the lazy days of summer to jam-packed days of routine. Many schools resume in mid-to-late August, making the first week of August the perfect time to implement a back-to-school theme update.

Determine a back-to-school "look" for your beauty business and express it by choosing props and retail products that tell a story in your special branded way. This type of merchandising requires a little planning and a few special details to add personality to salon displays. The objective is to create a salon experience that guests will not find anywhere else. 

No1 Pick a theme.
Back-to-school themes are plentiful. Anything school-related grouped by color such as hardback books, chalkboards, world globes, alphabet cards, or natural references such as apples, or fall leaves are all traditional back-to-school symbols.

No2 Merchandising tells a story.
Theme everything to a back-to-school "story" – color choices, merchandising support elements, point of purchase signs, and retail offerings work together to visually support the theme. A unique shopping ambiance sells more retail and adds to the bottom line.
* To get more ideas check out our Back-to-School Merchandising Pinterest Board.

No3 Back-to-School themed window displays.
Salon windows are your most valuable advertising space. A Back-to-School theme should be prominently showcased in the window. Don’t underestimate the power of talking to the street. Pick a theme, be bold.

No4 Add new back-to-school-themed products to your salon retail.
Adding a new line of products to your salon retail could open up whole new lines of business for your salon. Expand inventory by bringing in hair treatment products, fragrance, cosmetic organizers, pretty notebooks and pens or "dorm-inspiring" items (good gifts or POP). 

No5 Retail props.
Mix retail with merchandising support elements - these are the little details such as lunch boxes, chalkboards, vintage school books and typewriters - elements that make your displays special. Create small vignette displays that are grouped by color or theme, the purpose of merchandising is to show-off your "wares".

No6 Add zest with fresh flowers.
Fresh flowers mixed into displays add instant zest for such a little cost. The simple use of fresh apples and sunflowers in pretty vases add instant summertime to any retail display. 

No7 Shelf talkers. 
Tell your story clearly with themed point of sale signs or shelf talkers mixed into retail displays. Clearly state prices, product highlights, seasonal packages, or specials you wish to highlight. Signage should both inform and encourage purchase. 

No8 Back-to-School themed selfie station.
Add a bit of back-to-school fun to encourage salon tagging, and/or use it internally for salon before and after shots to share on social media. What is a Selfie Station you ask? It's a cool staged place or space in your salon specifically designated for clients to take selfies. 

Add a Back-to-School themed selfie station in your salon to play up the season. Large apples, hanging streams of paper leaves, vintage books and typewriters, a chalkboard backdrop (with your salon logo in chalk).

This August and September implement a Back-to-school merchandising theme to add retail and service dollars that count!


Back to school time in August and September are like a second “new year” of the annual calendar. This is a time of starting over, lazy days of summer polarize to jam-packed routines. As the fall season approaches, so do the booking opportunities due to the havoc summer has on hair and skin. 
Remember: The key to salon promotions in Fall is to “solve” the ever-changing beauty problems and needs throughout the calendar year. Find here some strategies for promoting salon services during the Fall Season.

1. Hair Damage = Dollar$$
Summer months spent in the sun, wind and water make the fall season the best time of year to grow business by offering solution-driven treatments. Promote add-on Hair Conditioning or Glossing Treatments. 

2. Back–to-School = Back-to-Business
Moms spend money on new clothes, shoes, and school supplies - why not include a trip to the hair salon as part of the back-to-school regimen. No one wants to send their child to school picture day with parched fiberglass hair; all hair types can benefit from an anti-oxidant plus restorative hair conditioning treatment, so build it as an add-on service for back-to-school promotion. 

3. College Students
If your town or city hosts a large college campus this could equal loads of new and returning clients. Promotions work well in August or September to attract new students unfamiliar with their new town or city. Advertise in your town's local college newspapers around September for Welcome Week - this is a very inexpensive way to target this demographic. If you are the beauty salon they choose for their first appointment, odds are that (provided they have a good experience), that client will stick with your salon for the duration of their college career (4 - 6 years).

4. Sorority Packages
Contact sororities and school groups to offer custom packages. Provide service discount rates for events at college campuses. For instance, propose a monthly sorority night special where your team visits to the sorority house for a night of pampering. 

5. Teacher Appreciation
Get high grades when you offer teacher appreciation during the back-to-school season. Extend a special discount on services or retail products for refreshing her "beauty supply". 

6. Fall Fashion, Style and Color Trends
Leverage fall color trends to engage clients and refresh your salon marketing plan. The color experts at Pantone® release a color trend report on fashion and runway-inspired color trends every season - this is a great reference to stay in-tune with color trends that will quickly be in demand among your clients.

7. Fall Merchandising - Change It Up
Give clients a new reason to sit up and take notice. Why? It’s human nature. As human beings we tend to ignore what we have seen before but when something changes - new color, new arrangement, new merchandising, signage, etc. - the brain sends a signal that there is something new and noteworthy. Easily change the look of your retail space with "back-to-school" merchandising support including vintage hardcover books, chalkboards, vintage typewriters and pencils. 

Want to make even more of an impression? Repaint a focal wall, refresh shelf talkers, update point of purchase displays and merchandising accessories in your client waiting and treatment areas. One way to do this is by putting in pops of colors, and it’s smart to pick colors from among those that consumers will be seeing as on-trend in their favorite fashion and style magazines in the months that follow.

8. Fall Trend Point of Purchase
Seasonal trend colors can perk up merchandising and boost retail sales. Point of purchase displays with items highlighting the season’s hottest trend colors in jewelry, hair accessories, hats, cosmetic cases, lip glosses, eye shadows, nail lacquers, etc.

9. Halloween Hair & More
Tie in hair, makeup and spa promotions to the Halloween season. The end of October is filled with Halloween-themed parties, giving salons multiple opportunities to book appointments reserved for theatrical makeup, face painting, special-effects and creative hair.

10. Give Spa-Goers Halloween Spirit
Get spa-goers into the Halloween spirit with themed body wraps or facials in "Seaweed Sludge" or "Potent Pumpkin". Clients get "wrapped up like a mummy" for the ultimate seasonal indulgence.  

11. High School Homecoming
Fall is the season for high school homecoming dances, the fall version of Prom. Check the dates for your local high school's homecoming. These dates change every year, so in order to plan and staff accordingly make sure these dates are highlighted in your calendar (traditionally in the month of November). 

Homecoming is an event that gives you an opportunity to offer specials for event hair, makeup and nail services. Advertise in your town's local high school newspaper starting in September for a November Homecoming date.