Salon group Live True London is collaborating on a retail concept and upskilling hair specialists for in-store advice in Boots trial
Live True London salons is partnering with Boots as the giant beauty retailer launches a premium haircare hub that will sell professional brands including Wella Professionals, Redken and L’Oréal Professionnel Paris.
A new Live True London x Boots salon-led retail space has opened at the Live True Vauxhall site as Boots introduces more than 400 products from 10 professional and salon haircare brands on boots.com. Those brands are Redken, L’Oréal Professionnel, Pureology, OUAI, Briogeo, Matrix, Color Wow, Drybar, Wella Professionals and FUL, Live True London’s own brand.
Jenna Ward, head of beauty reinvention at Boots, told Creative HEAD that the retailer had seen more than 250,000 searches on its site for premium haircare brands, illustrating customer demand for professional lines.
At boots.com consumers will now find a content-led haircare hub, with haircare education, inspiration and advice. It also includes an online salon locator to help customers find their nearest salon offering L’Oréal Professionnel Paris treatments and services.
New ‘haircare specialist’ roles will be trialled in selected Boots stores, with training led by Live True London team members. The specialists will offer personalised and impartial product advice, and encourage customers to seek out professional services and treatments in salons.
“We want to support the salon industry and to behave in the right way,” said Jenna. “This will help elevate hair services and drive people back into salons.”
She added that the hair hub would highlight the importance of professional services, pointing to the salon locator, and that combined, the hub and in-store specialists would help “modernise the understanding of what you can get done in a salon, the treatments and services beyond a cut and colour”.
When asked about the potential knock-on effect of Boots selling professional brands on salons’ own retail sales, she added that Boots was “working hard to ensure it doesn’t impact on those who are strong on retail”, stating that she saw Boots filling the role of “replenishment of products rather than taking it way from salons”.
“We have a big responsibility to keep the high street thriving,” she continued. “We are a big part of beauty there and we want salons to succeed, so we’re massively invested.”
Valerie Maine, founder at Live True London, said that the retail concept collaboration could provide a “roadmap” to others in the industry when it comes to expanding the in-salon experience.
She pointed to the DIY hair trend in lockdown as having an impact on client visits and spend across the hair industry. “Post-Covid, consumers are questioning the price point and why they should be going to the salon every eight weeks. This resets the stage, and it’s important that Boots is driving that conversation.”
“This is not a new salon. Boots is not going into the salon space,” she added. “We’ve been here 10 years, and this shows how you can evolve your space.”