ANGIER, N.C. -- Fiesta IGA, based here, is partnering with a local beauty school to open Hispanic-targeted salons in its seven southeastern North Carolina stores, owner Frank Gonzales said.
Under the partnership, Dudley Beauty College, Durham, will lease space from Fiesta and operate the salons, said La Mar Williams, Dudley's owner. He said the salons will operate under the name La Shae, a name his wife, Sheila Williams, Dudley's director, created. Dudley plans to establish a private label of La Shae-branded hair care products for Hispanics, to be sold in the salons and in the HBC sections of Fiesta and other supermarkets, he said.
The partners said they see the venture as a way to broaden their customer base among the Hispanics who dominate the market, noting the value they place on personal appearance and that unacculturated Hispanics tend to shop for food as a family.
"It increases the amount of family members that participate in the shopping experience," Williams said.
The salons will especially help Fiesta appeal to the maturing Hispanic population, Gonzales said. "They all look for one-stop shopping, and the beauty part is so important."
Fiesta plans to open the first salon in September in its Angier store, the chain's largest. The salons' physical placement will vary by location. Where space allows, the salon will be located inside the supermarket; elsewhere, it will be housed in an annex to the store, Gonzales said. The rollout could take at least 10 months -- the time estimated to license and certify employees, said Williams, adding that he is talking to other retailers with hopes of replicating the formula nationwide.
TV, radio and print advertising will support the salon openings, while ongoing product sampling, signs, coupons and sweepstakes are planned in stores, Williams said. The name La Shae will serve as a promotional gimmick, said Williams, who plans to run a contest involving the name.
Gonzales said he expects each salon to gross at least $400,000 in annual sales in the first 12 months of operation, with larger stores like Angier to gross about $750,000.