Sally Beauty Holdings (SBH) has untangled itself from former parent Alberto-Culver. Formerly Sally Beauty Co., the firm is one of the US's largest retailers and distributors of professional beauty supplies. While the US accounts for most of its sales, the company also has stores in Canada, Europe, and South America. Some 3,400 Sally Beauty Supply stores sell more than 6,000 hair, skin, and nail products. Sally Beauty also sells its products online. SBH's Beauty Systems Group (BSG) employs more than 980 sales consultants and operates more than 1,000 CosmoProf and Armstrong McCall stores that sell products only to salons and beauty professionals. Sally Beauty Supply was founded in New Orleans in 1964.
Texas-based Sally Beauty Holdings rings up about 80% of its sales in the US. International markets, including Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, and the UK, account for the rest.
SBH operates through two business segments: Sally Beauty Supply (SBS), which accounts for more than 60% of sales, operates more than 3,400 stores, Most are company owned. SBS stores offer more than 6,000 products for hair, skin, and nails and carry brands such as Clairol, L'Oreal, Wella, and Conair, as well as an extensive selection of proprietary merchandise. Beauty Systems Group contributes more than 35% of annual sales and operates stores under the CosmoPro and Armstrong McCall names. They carry as many as 9,800 professionally branded products, including Paul Mitchell, Sabastian, Joico, and Aquage, which are targeted exclusively for professional and salon use, and resale to salon customers.
Sales and Marketing
Through its more than 3,400 company-owned and franchised locations, Sally Beauty Supply stores target retail customers and salon professionals, while Beauty Systems Group exclusively targets salons and salon professionals at its 1,245 locations. The company relies on print ads, digital marketing, trade shows, and product education for salon professionals to promote its products. In fiscal 2013 (ended September), the company reported advertising costs of $83.9 million, up from $79.8 million and $70.9 million in fiscal years 2012 and 2011, respectively.
Sally Beauty Holdings (SBH) has performed well since its separation from Alberto-Culver, logging steady sales and profit growth. In the most recent annual comparison, SBH's fiscal 2013 (ended September) sales increased 3% versus the prior year, to $3.6 billion. Net income rose 12% over the same period to about $261 million. Growth has been driven by new store openings, increasing same-store sales, acquisitions, and international expansion. The Beauty Supply Group outperformed the Sally Beauty Supply (SBS) retail operation, posting a 5% year-over-year gain in sales, versus about 1% for SBS. The international operation posted a 6% gain in sales, versus a 2% gain in sales at home.
Hair color and hair care products account for 45% of the company's sales. The aging populations in Europe and the US are helping drive demand for SBH's hair color, hair loss prevention products, and other products and services designed to mask the signs of aging. The company also caters to African-American and Hispanic customers with a broad selection of ethic products, accounting for about 7% of total sales in Sally Beauty stores over the past three years. The beauty supply distributor believes that its focus on ethnic products gives it an advantage over the competition.
The business continues to grow organically in existing and new markets and through acquisitions. Indeed, the company has completed more than 40 acquisitions over the past decade. In fiscal 2013 (ended September) it opened 113 SBS stores and 43 BSG locations, pursuing organic store growth of between 3% and 4% per year. Store openings overseas are also key to SBH's growth plan, with more stores planned for Europe, and Central and South America.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In May 2013 SBH acquired Essential Salon, a to-the-trade distributor of beauty products operating in the Northeast, for about $16 million. In November 2012 the company purchased the Netherlands-based beauty-supply sellers Kappersservice Floral B.V., Hair Zone B.V., and Exphair B.V. to further expand its reach into Europe.