European Wax Center sees growth amid consumer preference for hair removal

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Wax

European Wax Center sees growth amid consumer preference for hair removal
The franchise chain credits its exponential growth over the past year to the popularity of its brow shaping service and the efficacy of its advertising and marketing.

121 US franchise locations have signed on with the European Wax Center this year. And, the company conjectures that growth by the end of 2014 will reach 45%.

The brow line

Consumers are spending significant dollars on eye brow shaping and definition products and services. Brow products comprise 11% of prestige eye make-up sales in the US, according to NDP Beauty Trends. That’s $122m, and there’s no end of the trend in sight.

“The trend toward defined eyes continues to fuel prestige eye make-up sales nationwide. Further investigation into the NPD’s Geo-Level information uncovers regional opportunities for increased distribution and growth in brow make-up, particularly in southern markets within the US,” ​observes Karen Grant, vice president and global beauty industry analyst at NPD.  

Brow waxes are the most popular service among European Wax Center customers, in 2013 the company tallied over 1,650,000 such waxes. The brand credits not just the trend for defined eyes for this but also their print advertising campaign “Brows Tell A Great Story.”

The business

Describing the European Wax Center’s vision, ahead of the company’s 10 year anniversary next month, David Coba, ceo and co-founder said, “We strongly believe that waxing should be a luxurious, yet affordable experience that leaves individuals feeling pampered, confident and sexy.”

In time for the holiday gift season, the European Wax Center ran a survey which polled over 1,000 women 18 – 44 years old regarding their opinions on giving and receiving holiday gift cards for beauty services, waxing in particular, as well as their personal likelihood to go in for a waxing procedure.

Exactly half of survey respondents indicated that “a waxing service gift card is appropriate to give/receive as a gift.”

Stay-at-home hair removal

At-home grooming tools that remove hair are selling well also. More women’s electric shavers and other devices have sold in the past year than sold in the previous two years combined, reports NDP. Unit sales of electric shavers are up 22% and 10% in dollar sales growth.

“The cost and inconvenience of repeated waxing, laser, or other hair removal services outside of their home may have women looking for simpler, more affordable options to help them achieve smooth, bare skin,” ​explains Debra Mednick, executive director and home industry analyst at NDP.

The at-home market isn’t necessarily a sure bet for grooming tool brands: “An opportunity clearly exists to provide convenient in-home professional quality hair removal products that are safe and easy to use,” ​says Mednick. “The challenge is introducing products at higher price points to drive sustained category growth.”

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