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October 29, 2004

On the Road with Mary

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On the Road with Mary

Mary, here, reporting 

My trip was totally planes, trains and automobiles.  I started in Paris, where the Mondial Coiffure Show was so packed it was hard to get through. I’ve never seen so many hairdressers jammed into one place. The theatre was amazing with over 4,000 seats and nobody moving!  The show format is quite different there and hair is not done on individual stages but rather just in the classrooms and in the theatre. 

What were the big things in France?  The shows are so different from the US.  First, I headed to the press room, where the very first thing they did was hand me a cigarette as a greeting.  Can you imagine doing that in America? Anyway, they were very lovely and, unlike the “rumor” that the French don’t like Americans who don’t know how to speak French, our French cohorts cutting hair in Paris are a lovely group who helped me along the way. Thanks to my friends Dorian Berjon from Davines Paris and Sylvan Mellouil from Jean Claude Beguin (the largest salon group in Paris), I got the lowdown on the French market.  There are 60,000 salons in France, and over 20,000 of them are one operator salons with just the owner.  The next 14,000 have only one employee and the owner.  Only 9,000 have more than three employees.  The average ticket sale in France is $45 Euro and only a 5% retail sales. L’Oreal is about 45% of the market for professional products followed by Wella, Schwarzkopf, Eugene Perma and Revlon.  One interesting item in France is that professional products are almost all sold in the drugstores as well as the salon.  Yes, there is no such thing as diversion in France. Products lives harmoniously in drugstores and in salons. Can you imagine? 

(see the hair for interpretations of that)

From there, I got in a taxi to drive to what I thought was a close airport to take me to Rome, Italy. No such luck.  110 euro later, I got to Beauvais airport, where Ryan Air took me to Italy. (My flight cost only $24 euro but the airport was over an hour outside of Paris!) (PICTURE OF RYAN AIR)

While in Italy, I visited the folks at Davines.  David Bollati, President of Davines, took me to see their spa in Monticello.  The spa was absolutely beautiful with 13 service rooms including every water service you can think of, a beautiful outside relaxation zone and a huge line of Comfort Zone products to utilize with every service.  (pictures) Davines is now a $35 million dollar company in over 20 countries.  They have a wonderful staff of people and an amazing manufacturing facility and lab right on site. 

I also did a little touring in some of the wonderful small towns including Citta di Castello in the Umbrian Region, Gubbio, Todi and Arezzo. 

From there, I headed back on Ryan Air to London where the show floor was packed with new companies including a few of my favorites: Chill,

Need to finish this….but this is the beginning.  I will get you pictures today. See if you can search images on Google for the towns I’ve listed before (Bonnie).

Also, pictures for the London show would be a picture of Excel Center in London, and then whatever Jamie gave you from the show floor if you have it. Also, see if you can get a picture of the chill products from Shane, and also ask him about a few other cool companies as well and get some pictures from him of those too.



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