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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow? Amazon’s Unbe-Weave-able Salon Project
Amazon is entering a whole new world – hair salons. The US tech giant has recently announced it is launching a salon in London. Is this a cutting-edge move from the retailer, or will it frizz out?
The new project – Amazon Salon – is “an experiential venue where we showcase new products and technology,” the retailer explained. The salon will span across two floors in Spitalfields, in London, and will open every day of the week. It’s located less than five minutes away from the Amazon HQ in London.
Currently, Amazon Salon is only available for Amazon employees but will be open to the general public in “the coming weeks”. There are “no current plans” to open any other Amazon Salon stores, the retailer has explained, and it is purely an “experiential venue”.
So, what makes this salon different from any other place in London, or the world for that matter? Well, since it’s an Amazon venture, shoppers can expect to experience the latest technology with their blow-dry.
Using Augmented Reality, customers will be able to test out new hair colours virtually. In true Amazon fashion, users can try the new ‘point-and-learn’ system that allows salon-goers to access a product and its information on a screen. From there, they will scan a QR code that takes them directly to the Amazon website.
While customers get their hair quaffed and combed, they will also be able to scroll through magazines on tablets, which will sit at each styling station.
“We have designed this salon for customers to come and experience some of the best technology, hair care products and stylists in the industry,” said John Boumphrey, the Country Manager of Amazon UK. “We want this unique venue to bring us one step closer to customers, and it will be a place where we can collaborate with the industry and test new technologies.”
Does this mean Amazon staff will be the ones doing the hairstyling services? No. The owner of Neville Hair & Beauty salons, Elena Lavagni, will take care of the actual styling and cutting services, the retailer reported.
“I am delighted to be part of this project – the salon combines classic hairdressing services with technology to deliver a completely unique experience for clients,” explained Lavagni. “Our creative team of stylists, whose flair for hair is as intrinsic as their love for technology, will put the client at the heart of everything they do. I feel proud to use our 40 years’ experience in the industry to help bring this salon to life.”
How Popular Will it Be?
Amazon Salon came out of nowhere, it seems. While Amazon has chosen to open its first checkout-free grocery store in London, it’s easy to see why the retailer chose this trendy city as its guinea pig for the new project.
But the real question is: will people actually go? Only time will tell. London just opened again following strict lockdown, so residents will be itching for a proper cut and colour, said Simon Menashy, a Venture Capitalist in London. “At the moment, Londoners will take any appointment they can get,” he told CNBC.
While the price points are yet to be released, Amazon Salon will offer services including cut and colour, balayage, blow-drying, treatments and braids for men, women and children.
It seems that Amazon is trying to get its hands on almost every category it can. Currently, Amazon has stakes in the e-commerce, cloud computing, music, streaming, gaming and grocery categories, among many others.
If the hairstyling itself is good, then we can expect to see it become reasonably successful. Either way, we’re just dye-ing to find out.