Securing an ongoing, quality supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) at the best value is a new and ongoing concern for salon leaders. For ISBN members, the scale of salon PPE need is multiplied and finding trusted sources is an important priority.
Harlan Kirschner, C.E.O. of The Kirschner Group, Inc., a global leader in representation of beauty products in every channel of beauty since 1984 and long-time sponsor and supporter of ISBN, recently reached out to let members know the company has secured a broad collection of PPE at competitive pricing and to provide an update on other industry-wide initiatives. Here’s a recap of the conversation and a connection to resources ISBN members can access.
ISBN: You’ve been very hands-on in helping lead the professional beauty industry through many changes. Give us your snapshot perspective on how the industry is pulling together to support salons and salon professionals through the COVID-19 crisis?
Kirschner: Our industry has never faced the challenges we see today and we all need to work well together to get the salon industry back on track. As a board member for the Professional Beauty Association, I believe our associations can make a big difference in uniting businesses and implementing strategies.
ISBN: You mentioned that you have been involved in an industry-wide task force. Tell ISBN members about the objectives and who is involved?
Kirschner: Early in the COVID 19 pandemic, a number of industry veterans organized a task force to assist with direction and public relations. There has been cooperation between many companies, including L’Oreal Professional Products Division, Coty Professional, John Paul Mitchell Systems, Kao, Henkel, Moroccan Oil and others, all determined to help guide the industry toward and through recovery.
ISBN: How has the team at The Kirschner Group (TKG) pivoted, adjusted and responded to serve the market?
Kirschner: One of the first challenges we realized was that for salons to open safely, we needed PPE materials like masks, gloves, disposable capes and gowns, sanitizer and other items. The Kirschner Group immediately set a course to secure sources of PPE products at very competitive prices and the company now offers a complete selection of everything a salon needs to open and run safely.
ISBN: What do you see as the short-term and longer-term challenges salons, spas and barbers face, and how are you adjusting your business services?
“For salons the task is getting opened safely, staying open and making a profit. Most salons today are struggling financially, and we need to take the proper steps to support our salon base nationwide. We believe the system has to work with distributors offering salons the full line of PPE products to run safely. They must have the lowest prices and largest selection which is what we have now developed and promote.”
ISBN: What sets apart the collection of PPE that The Kirschner Group has curated? How are you positioned to take care of high-volume needs? What are the “hot” items?
Kirschner: We represent many U.S. manufacturers who make designer masks, upscale comfort masks, sports masks and specialty masks. We have sanitizers and other PPE products made here in the United States for our distributors to choose from. Since The Kirschner Group has a sales team living globally we have access to the best and most innovative products from countries around the world. We are also able to source masks in Asia from the most reputable manufacturers at pricing that is far less than what our distributors are paying now. We have sanitizers from Latin America at very aggressive pricing, as alcohol is a less expensive commodity there. We have relationships with gloves manufacturers in Malaysia, Vietnam and China. And yes, we do have gloves available.
ISBN: On behalf of the professional beauty community, what gives you the most hope and optimism?
Kirschner: Professional beauty is unique in that there is a relationship between salon professionals and their clientele. Wall Street might not understand the dynamics of our industry but after personally studying the beauty business over the last 50 years, I believe our industry will recover and salons will adapt.
ISBN: What else is important for you and TKG to share with ISBN members?
Kirschner: We are all in this COVID 19 pandemic together and certainly in unchartered waters. We need to be creative, nimble and smart to navigate through this era.
We welcome the input from our ISBN partners and will do the work and heavy lifting to make sure our customers get the support, products and competitive prices they need to succeed.
ISBN: What is the best way for ISBN members and other industry leaders to connect with The Kirschner Group?
Kirschner: Great question! Contact your local sales professional at The Kirschner Group using our website at kirschnergroup.com or contact our main offices at 661-257-6260. I am always personally available to speak with any of the ISBN membership and help in any way possible.