Luxury men’s salon and tailoring shop made house calls as Miami shut down

Discussion
Source: Jaxson Maximus
Jun 26, 2020
Matthew Stern

Miami luxury men’s salon Jaxson Maximus offers a high-touch, one-stop grooming experience in its 4,000 square-foot Miami location. Visitors can get haircuts and a range of additional boutique grooming services, or get their clothing customized at the full-service tailor shop and purchase custom suits and shirts, guided by a highly-personalized professional consultation. When lockdown started, though, this experiential business model quickly became impossible to execute.

RetailWire spoke with Christian Boehm, CEO and founder of Jaxson Maximus, and Madison Boehm, COO and co-founder, about the experientially-oriented company’s pandemic-driven pivot strategy.

“We were like a deer in headlights like everyone else,” Mr. Boehm said. “Our business cannot be run over a computer and from home. I can’t cut your hair through a Zoom call … during the shutdown we had to think fast.”

Almost immediately Jaxson Maximus began offering in-home haircuts — a service it had never before offered. To meet state safety guidelines and assuage customer fears, the salon:

  • Monitored and logged staff temperatures daily;
  • Mandated hand sanitizer, glove and mask use during home visits, allowing customers to see them putting on fresh, clean PPE;
  • Sanitized equipment to strict specs between all appointments;
  • Checked customer temperatures before providing service. (Were a customer to have a fever, the service would be put off for two weeks.)

Jaxson Maximus promoted the service to tenants of area condominiums through concierges and building managers, and targeted still-working professional demographics, like doctors, who would want haircuts throughout the lockdown. The store expanded its database from 2,000 to 5,000 contacts with a high likelihood of engagement.

The store location was able to reopen three weeks ago with enhanced sanitation and limited, socially-distanced occupancy. Jaxson Maximus sees an ongoing commitment to safety and sanitation as paramount.

“The guidelines are going to change, but it’s just as important that people feel safe, that the environment is clean, that everything is sanitary,” said Ms. Boehm.

With the future still uncertain all around, Jaxson Maximus is also exploring other lines of business to weather any future lockdowns. The company plans to begin selling its in-house salon products online and launch a new athleisure wear line via e-commerce.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What can other retailers take from Jaxson Maximus’ pivot during the pandemic as well as its plans for new initiatives out of lockdown? How can retailers prepare themselves now for any business disruptions that might appear due to the ongoing pandemic?

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10 Comments on "Luxury men’s salon and tailoring shop made house calls as Miami shut down"


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Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

I do not understand – hair cutting (at least in this state) was not even allowed till Phase 2 of reopening. Those that disobeyed the mandate got fined or arrested. While I understand the need for haircuts, why was this company not reprimanded?

Matthew Stern
Staff

Hi Richard, just wanted to clarify — per my discussion with JM, the moves they made were meant to allow them to continue doing business while falling within the parameters of what was legal in Florida at the point in lockdown when they were offering the service. I agree it’s confusing with the differences state-by-state, but they said their intention was to keep doing business while remaining on the up-and-up and without skirting any guidelines.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

Got it – thank you for the clarification.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

Interesting, but I am not sure who wants apparel tailoring under present circumstances. Unless, of course, someone needs their sweatpants adjusted!

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

I find most retailers to be among the most small-minded business people I come in contact with. With regard to COVID-19 response, the big guys are doing well adjusting. However the small stores (yes, I understand their financial challenges) are single-minded. They only want to re-open and in many cases break the rules. They want to go back to before and can’t challenge themselves to move to a new future.

This isn’t going away soon and when it does go away, everything will be different. First they must be flexible and the successful ones will be creative.

Steve Montgomery
BrainTrust

The underlying lesson is – determine what you can do rather than bemoan what you can’t. While there may be questions about some of the services they provided during the lockdown they, like many retailers, found a way to stay in business and are applying the lessons learned to their current business as some of the restrictions are lifted.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

This is the classic “find a need and fill it.” What Jaxson Maximus did is exactly what we talked about yesterday in the article “Retailers and brands make a quick pivot in the pandemic.” By staying within state and local guidelines, following safety measures, and having customers willing to welcome associates into their homes they were able to save their business. Every retailer needs a creative contingency plan.

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust
If there were ever a time for retailers to be creative, inventive, and think outside the box – this was it! For some this was as “simple” as pivoting to delivery services and curbside pickup for certain types of merchandise, but for service-oriented retailers like a salon, those were not viable options. Many turned to new, creative uses of social media to maintain customer engagement when that was their key selling point. The bottom line is, if you couldn’t get past what you were forced to stop providing, you would never start thinking about what you COULD provide. Retailers historically have a tendency to just keep doing what they’ve always done. Recent years have been showing retailers that the old ways were not going to serve them for much longer. COVID-19 has accelerated that to the point that if you aren’t adapting right now, you won’t have anything to return to when the pandemic is over. And we are not at that point yet despite the re-opening happening around the country (just look at the… Read more »
Craig Sundstrom
Guest

While I applaud Mr. Maximus’ ingenuity and perseverance, unfortunately I think what most retailers can take from his pivot is … nothing. Businesses that depend on physical locations and/or personal contact are simply not going to be able to replicate this on any kind of scale in other formats (and I will point out that his strategy wouldn’t have been allowed here in the Bay Area … and probably any other area that had anything beyond minimal restrictions.)

I think this is akin to asking “how can a business operate DURING a hurricane?” The answer is it can’t … it has to wait for it to end. That’s reason for the push to “return to normal” … with fingers crossed.

Xavier Lederer
BrainTrust

Despite the rise of online sales some retailers kept focusing on an outdated mantra: “location location location” — instead of (re)focusing on the customers and actively empathizing with when to develop better suited experiences. Covid is forcing many of us to step outside of our comfort zone and think outside our retail box. The future will tell whether in-home haircut is a viable business model — however: actively listening to our customers and testing potential models to better meet their needs, without the constrains of our old paradigms, is definitely part of the solution.

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