Sally Beauty Is Here to Stay

A North Texas-based company and a leader in all things beauty is enjoying enormous success.

Sally Beauty, which boasts 4,000 stores in 11 different countries, has beat Wall Street expectations for four straight quarters. The stock price of the Denton-based beauty empire just doubled, and the company brings in a reported $2.6 billion a year.
Gary Winterhalter, Sally president and CEO, said the secret to the beauty business is knowing the customer.

"Nail extensions, you name it. You have a nail fungus from wearing nail extensions, we got it," he said.

Winterhalter, a 43-year veteran of the beauty industry, said women have changed over the years.

"A lot of women are getting more adventurous in some of the things they are willing to try themselves," he said.

For example, he said, hair extensions are now a hot seller.

"Oh, it's been a huge piece of our business for the past few years," Winterhalter said. "It is primarily in the human hair extensions. It gives the individual the opportunity to completely change their hairstyle and their appearance."

But Sally's top seller is hair color. Electrical appliances come next, followed by nail products and then hair repair products, such as conditioners.

"What we are in business to do is (to) help women who have problems with their hair,"  said.

The products are not cheaper than what you will find in drugstores. But Winterhalter said they're salon-quality, packaged in nondescript bottles and sitting in modest storefronts.

"We are more focused on the customer being satisfied with the product and the services that we provide as opposed to the customer being particularly overwhelmed by the fanciness or cuteness of our store," he said.

The company said it was a bit late to the online game, but business has doubled every year. It started shipping orders from a Denton warehouse three years ago.

"Sally will stick to what it does best," Winterhalter said. "The customer has an expectation of us. We try very hard to deliver on that expectation."

The company also evolves, he said. Technicians are currently tweaking the spring nail polish line in its Denton test salon.

But Winterhalter also said that doesn't mean Sally will get an obvious facelift or reinvention any time soon.

The company's secret to success, he said, is choosing Denton for its headquarters.

"North Texas has kept us grounded," he said.

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