CEDAR Beauty Supply – PA

Yellow, red, blue sticker sale calling a customer

CEDAR Beauty Supply, PA Inhye Lee

Woodlyn lies about 20 minutes south of the Philadelphia Interna-tional Airport. Named after the cedar tree, Inhye Lee’s beauty supply store runs its 23 years. Mrs. Lee shares her honest opinion on the competi-tion with other local businesses and some management tips from her experience. The register is placed right where customers can see when they open the door, which makes it easier for them to call out for help and check out the item. Pillars inside partially blocks the panoramic view of the interior, but the display is thoughtfully arranged with the building’s struc-ture in mind. The well-managed display of items naturally at-tract customer’s attention. Scarf, bundle hair, cosmetics, and other popular seasonal items welcome the guests. As they further go in, cus-tomers will find a discount section where items with a sticker are on sale.

Discount sticker, Increase sales while ef-ficiently reduce remaining stock
A complete and thorough analysis of the inventory is a must but always difficult to execute as a store owner. After inspection of storage to check the type and amount of remaining stock, Mrs. Lee has been sorting out items to be discounted and preparing a sales deal for the past 2 years. Discounted products are sepa-rately marked with a sticker, with green indicating $20 off, and red for $10 off. It makes it easier for customers to spot the best deal for themselves. Beauty trend rapidly evolves. Because the town is close to New York, any fashion trend that takes over downtown trickles down. Items that are out of people’s taste would not sell even if they are on sale. Preparing inventory that best reflects the latest trend is the key.


Availability of Higher-end Wigs and Toupee
There is a wide range of choice for cheap, $20 wigs out in the market, but Mrs. Lee always questions why the price on these wigs have to be so low despite its complicated manufacturing process. Her store carries wigs for Caucasian customers, and they have been steadily in demand. Toupee for men is also not easily found at other stores, but an item. Beautician on-site also help customers create a finished look they desire, which contributes to the store sales. The wig styling is quite time-consuming, and some male customers are very particular with their requests, but they always put their best ef-fort so that everyone can walk out of the store completely satisfied.

Joanna with Magical Customer Service Skills
Joanna had served in the beauty industry for 50 years and has come to work with Mrs. Lee after her retirement, believing that she finds her true happiness when she sees satisfied smiles of her cus-tomers. She has now worked at the store for over 10 years. “Some are hesitant at first to try new things, but once they let me handle the styling of the hair, everyone walks out completely satis-fied with the result. They come back with their friends and families. I always took pride in my work. Occasionally, cancer patients visited my business and they were more particular with their requests. Wigs with lighter fit are recommended so it’s more suitable for daily wear. I enjoy my work that can restore confidence in the patients“Joanna adds that people of all age and gender are welcomed as a customer and she always strives to create a more natural and easy to wearstyle for them.
Taking Special Custom Orders
“Taking special orders is important. Always take note of what people are looking for and try to stock the item if possible. Keeping your customers satisfied, is what vitalize your business in the end.” Mrs. Lee visits the wholesale market at least once a week. She always keeps herself busy for her customers.


Pricing and Discount Items Updated Every Week
A wide variety of discount deals, from 10%, 20%, 30% off to seasonal items, are available at Cedar Beauty Supply. Mrs. Lee’s son is in charge of social media marketing to get the word out about the deals. It’s difficult to see popular items sold at a reduced price to match the nearby competitor’s price, but the prices are always matched the competing business-
es when customers raise concern. Of many items in-stock, eyelashes are one of the steady-selling items. Bundle Hair multipacks, an economic option for those prefer to wear human hair, also contributes a great deal to the sales.


Every Corner of the Store, Comfortable and Cozy
Toward the back of the store, a special fitting area is made for the customers trying on wigs, as they always need some private space when putting on a wig with the cap on. The area is not wide open so that the customers feel comfortable without having others stare as they try different products. This kind of attention to detail is some-times hard to carry out due to the limit of the available space inside.


Change the Display for a Refreshed Look
Mrs. Lee coordinates a big cleanout once in three months with her employees. Some customers prefer a fixed spot for each item, but the store has chosen to bring changes to the display to make rooms for newer, trendy items. Wig section was given the most attention during the reorganization. Customers are enjoying the new look when the item location gets regularly updated.


Bulletin Board for Neighbors
An entire wall at the entrance is designated for the neigh-bors to post ads and shoutouts. “We started quite a while ago. It fills up my heart with joy to see regulars at our store bring their friends and families, and just have a good time. A lot of people actually utilize the bulletin board to share information!”
Utilizing Available Space and Talent
Storage space in the basement is used to stack boxes of braid items. Thankfully, there is an elevator to easily trans-port boxes. Racks with hair items displayed are also ex-tended to maximize the space. “My husband and I have worked diligently on the project, but unfortunately he passed about 4 years ago. Now our store manager took over the job and my son is also lending a hand. It’s a big help when the store is especially busy. He’s a designer and he drew a large painting at the front door.” Mrs. Lee also expresses gratitude toward those who gladly helped out with banners, signs, and marketing, and to her hardworking employees, Joanna, Nancy, and Manager Kim.


Cedar Salon Next Door
An office space adjacent to the store is rented out to Cedar salon, which is independently managed by two beauticians. Customers visit the salon after purchasing hair product of their choice at the beauty supply store. Mrs. Lee always encourages the beauticians next door to try samples of new relaxer or edge cream.


Staying Up-to-date with Changes in the Cosmetic and Accessories Market
“Makeup and skincare are most popular among African American customers.” Because the number of African American customers visiting the store has recently decreased, cosmetic sales have also gone down. These types of products have short shelf-life so it’s not beneficial to keep the remaining stock for a long time. Each locale has its own characteristics depending on the demographics of the neighborhood. More accessories are now available in the store. Sunglasses, hats, leggings, and other fashion goods are neatly hung on the wall for customers to find. Seasonal items are also in demand. Bitter win-ter encouraged customers to come and get scarves and gloves. Local churches and organizations also place a bulk order.


Beauty Supply Business with More to Offer
“If we closed on Sunday like Chick-fill-A, more people would visit on Saturday! However, because a number of new businesses are opening nearby.” The store remains open 7 days a week because of its neighboring competitors. It breaks Mrs. Lee’s heart a little to lower price of an excellent quality item. Because people are now equipped with knowledge gathered from social media, a store must provide latest trend item with price and quality that can satisfy the customers. However, she is slightly worn out by the price competition as she is riding the tide for her customers.As both the wholesales and retailers have concerns of their own, she hopes that everyone could take a step back from the heated competition to observe the current situation. We wish the best for Cedar Beauty Supply, to always keep up with the attentive service and continue to grow with the Woodlyn community, just like the self-renewing, evergreen cedar tree.

Beauty Supply Sunny Kim
BNB Magazine 2019, July ©bnbmag.com