The rise of the humble kiosk: beauty bars raking in big business

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

The rise of the humble kiosk: beauty bars raking in big business

Related tags Retailing Business

As consumers continue to spend money on affordable luxuries like nail care; start-ups and big players alike are looking to kiosks rather than retail stores to cash in on these opportunities.  

According to market researcher Kline, the professional nail care market posted 25% growth globally in 2013, outshining the resilient but modest growth rates in other cosmetics categories, prompting consumers to enjoy and indulge in a little affordable luxury.

Despite many cutting back on beauty regimes in recent years, nail salons have seen booming business with the likes of 'Shellac' manicures, a treatment that promises smudge-proof nail colour that lasts for weeks without chipping. 

In fact, this 'little luxury', priced anywhere from €20 euros has become the 'bread and butter' for a lot of nail care businesses since being introduced to the market in 2011. 

However, to access this demand, salons have had to invest in 'on the go' services, and the latest trends and technologies to remain competitive. 

Enter the humble but mighty kiosk...

The rise of the beauty kiosks

Alongwith small start up fees, kiosks have become a way for big beauty brands and start-ups alike to cater to a wider range of consumers while reducing staff costs and provide around-the-clock convenience.

In the last year alone, cosmetic giants like Benefit and Sephora have each rolled out interactive digital kiosks and beauty vending machines to catch potential customers outside of 'office hours'. 

Sugardolls Kiosk 2

Smaller start-ups like Irish kiosk chain 'SugarDolls' have also been able to compete with larger salons by attracting passing traffic with 'no appointment needed, affordable' luxury' service. 

With a background in science and an interest in beauty, entrepreneur Justyna Dawidek and her husband invested €35K in a pop-up centrally based in a shopping mall back in 2012.

"I wanted to try something new but with minimal risk so opted for a ​kiosk to determine if consumers were still willing to invest in nail care in a recession​," she tells 

Branching out

Today, Justyna and her husband have branched out on the success of that first kiosk with two more additions and a retail store, however the CEO says it's the kiosks that still make the most profit. 

"Although we now have the store that offers more varied treatments like waxing and tanning, our nail treatment focused kiosks are our bread and butter, we make €300,000 a year from one outlet alone," ​she reveals. 

So, this publication wondered why invest in a retail store if kiosks are the way forward?

According to the detail conscious duo, market research carried out previous to the opening of the first kiosk revealed that consumers are not yet comfortable with any type of feet treatments in a public place.

"From pedicures to foot massages, we knew that we could really expand our business by tapping into these other treatments, which could only be offered in a store​," Justyna explains.

With plans to now expand into the UK, the ambitious couple say that kiosks will remain at the forefront of their business model...

Related topics Market Trends Colour Cosmetics

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