The U.S. federal government recently passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package, but professional hair-care company John Paul Mitchell Systems is opting to create its own.
JPMS sells hair tools, styling products and professional hair dye that are distributed in 108 countries via 150,000 salons and Ulta. It also maintains 114 hair-styling schools. Sales to salons make up about 95% of JPMS’ revenue, and 70% of its U.S. business comes from independent salons, according to Jason Yates, COO of John Paul Mitchell Services. Knowing this, JPMS will redirect approximately $4 million that was earmarked for an August 2020 event in Las Vegas to celebrate the company’s 40-year anniversary. Instead, it will give out $4 million worth of free products distributed to salon partners. Product allocation will depend on a variety of factors including how long a salon has been a customer of JPMS, whether the salon only uses JPMS products and what size business the salon represents to JPMS.
“The idea is to give salons enough products to get them on their feet again, where they can service clients and charge for services without worrying about paying for products,” said Yates.
The privately-held company reportedly earns over $1 billion a year, and has committed to not furlough, lay off or reduce salaries for any of its 300 full-time employees Yates said.
JPMS has 75 field employees who are reaching out to salons directly to let them know they will receive aid, and JPMS will ship products directly to those salons. The stimulus will supply at least 3,500 salons with enough free products to last them each at least a month. There are other forms of aid JPMS is planning to offer salon and distributor partners. They include extending payment terms to 30-120 days, whereas typically product has to be paid for on delivery.
What JPMS is doing is emblematic of not only how intricately weaved and fragile the beauty industry is today, but also of how companies in the space are innovating and coming together. Brand founders and executives are creating ad hoc support groups, creating hand sanitizer to support health-care workers, and developing new strategies for content creation and community engagement.
“We have been forced to think differently, and the business of tomorrow will look very different than it did a month ago,” said Michaeline DeJoria, John Paul Mitchell Systems vice chairman. “It will be a different world that we will all work in.”
As there is not a lot happening for salons and hair stylists at the moment, JPMS is also offering free digital training through its @PaulMitchellPro Instagram account and @PaulMitchellHairCare page on Facebook, so that stylists can continue learning and training. Digital classes will be led by various professionals, including business coaches and artistic directors. When salons re-open, the company will also offer free in-person training classes from over 400 JPMS educators.
“We anticipate salons will slowly edge back to business with limited hours as social distancing protocols are still in practice. Hairdressing is a person-to-person physical contact profession that you can’t do hair six feet apart,” said DeJoria. “Consumers will need to feel as safe as possible in the salon, and the focus will be on navigating back to the new normal.”