Who knew that selling T-shirts can provide your salon with hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of advertising while also increasing your upgrade and lotion sales.
Some salon owners don’t believe in branding because its value can be difficult to measure. One tanning pro, however, has discovered a way to earn money while advertising her business! Adrienne Aaron – co-owner of Electrik Beach in Monroe, MI – increases awareness of her salon chain with “T-shirt Tuesday”, her most popular promotional event. “I got the idea from Del Taco,” said Adrienne. “They were selling T-shirts for $4, which more than likely barely covered the cost of the shirt; but I could tell they were doing it to generate brand awareness for their business. With the number of people who purchased shirts that day, I’m sure it worked.”
Adrienne and her staff designed a series of T-shirts and had 1,000 made in various sizes, then had a contest to see who could sell the most. “We priced them at $6 each and they went like hotcakes!” she exclaimed. “Each of our three stores sold an average of 75-100 shirts that day.” Everyone who purchased an Electrik Beach shirt also received a free tanning session upgrade. Further, these clients would continue to receive free upgrades each Tuesday, as long as they came to the salon wearing the shirt. “We started to see more and more people wearing the shirts around town,” she added. “One reason they were so popular is because our staff helped design them, so they had a young and trendy look.”
Before starting T-shirt Tuesdays, Adrienne says about 15 percent of her clients, on average, would purchase upgrade sessions each day. That number jumped to 25 percent, and the increase lasts throughout the week, as well. “After a while, our clients got bored with this so we changed it up a bit,” she said. “We began giving T-shirt wearers lotion samples and various discounts on full-sized product purchases – one of our most popular specials gave a free bottle of moisturizer to everyone who purchased a lotion on Tuesday. All of this has helped to increase our product sales, as well.”
Since first starting T-shirt Tuesday, Adrienne has shared her idea with as many salon owners as she can in hopes that they’ll experience similar success. “It might seem like a large investment at first; but, if you do it right, it’s well worth it,” she said. “Not only will you sell a lot of shirts, you’ll also get so many wonderful marketing and promotional benefits. It’s still one of the best things we’ve ever done to brand our salon – Now, practically everyone in our area thinks of Electrik Beach when they think of tanning!” Having T-shirts printed with your salon’s logo has created other opportunities, Adrienne says, such as trading an Electrik Beach T-shirt for a competitor’s T-shirt if she sees someone wearing one in public, which is something she often does.
Adrienne’s parents, Dennis and Lori Asmar, opened the first Electrik Beach salon in 1991. After working as a bed cleaner since the age of 14, Adrienne became a co-owner in 2001. Today, the family-run business has grown to six stores in the Monroe/Metro-Detroit area.
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
articles for IST Magazine and, as Director of Editorial Content, has also
helped guide the publication's evolution. Ribby is a graduate of Central
Michigan University's journalism program and has brought many years of newspaper reporting experience to his position of Head Writer. He is also the author of three novels, "Legacy of the Bear," "Prophecy of the Bear" and "World So Dark."
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