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Going Green at the Local Nail Salon

I visited my local nail salon over the holidays for a much-deserved pedicure.  At the end of my visit, I was handed a small plastic pouch filled with a disposable emory board and buffer.  Also included was a 10% coupon for future services.  But, what really caught my eye was the slip of paper that read:

“This is our gift to you.  To help us go green, please help by bringing your gift bag of products back with you on each visit that will be used just for you.  When they wear out, we will replace them free.  If you forget your bag, there will be $1 added to your bill.  Thank you, happy holidays, Go Green!”

I did a little research, and my personal pouch of resusable (albeit disposable) tools cost approximately $1.00 to put together, not counting the bag itself, which added another $1.  That doesn’t seem like a lot, until you realize that before distributing these goodies to their customers, the nail salon used and threw away the same tools each and every time they serviced a client.

The salon is open 67 hours a week and averages five customers an hour, or 335 customers per week.  Which means that prior to their pouch promotion, the salon was spending an average of about $350 per week on disposable tools.  That adds up to $18,200 per year for tools that are used once and thrown away.

The salon owner says they put together 1,000 pouches, spending about $2 on each, for a total of $2,000.  The disposable tools inside the pouch can be reused five to seven times, depending on the customer, which means that the average customer will need her personal tools replaced about four times a year, costing the salon an additional $4.  So, the total outlay for 1,000 customers over the year is approximately $6,000, a savings of $12,200.

Just another example of why going green isn’t always about the environment!

Why I love this promotion:

  • Significant cost savings for the salon, as well as environmental savings through the reduction of waste.
  • Incentive for return business with 10% coupon.
  • Recovery of some expenses by charging $1 if a customer forgets their personal tools.
  • Using personal tools addresses customer concerns about sanitation – added value.
  • Green marketing!

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