Amazon is opening a hair salon — but it points to loftier ambitions.
In London, Amazon will soon debut a physical hair salon, called Amazon Salon. A longtime salon owner named Elena Lavagni, along with a team of newly hired stylists, will manage the haircare side of the business. At first, only Amazon employees will be able to make appointments, but Amazon said that it will open to the public “in the coming weeks.”
In its statement, the company noted that this was, for now, merely an experimental one-off — “there are no current plans to open any other Amazon Salon locations.” Inside the store, everyone who shows up to the Amazon Salon, meanwhile, gets an Amazon Fire Tablet, where they can watch shows on Prime Video or buy more products online.
“Every part of the experience is layered in with some transaction that is going to help Amazon,” said Elaine Kwon, managing partner at e-commerce consulting firm Kwontified. The store also integrates AR technology, so that customers can see potential haircuts or hair colors on a screen before committing to them.Few people probably associate Amazon with the salon business — but the company has been making consistent beauty inroads.
Over the past few years, Amazon has quietly built out a successful business-to-business platform for haircare businesses as well as individual hair stylists and other professionals — and that, potentially, will become the major beneficiary of Amazon Salon. With that, the launch of a physical salon seems much less about capturing the revenue from cutting and coloring hair, and much more about building Amazon’s credibility as a supplier of professional beauty products and beauty technology.
“I would say hair is the starting point,” said Kwon.