The Internet and Evolving Channels of Distribution in the Professional Beauty Supplies Industry

Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Science in Management Systems (Sc.D.)




Ben Judd

Committee Member

Scott Lane

Committee Member

George Haley

LC Subject Headings

Cosmetics industry, Electronic commerce

Call No. at the Univ. of New Haven Library

AS 36 N290 Mgmt. Syst. 2004 no.1


E-commerce and the Internet, as well as channel erosion, disintermediation, diversion, and high-quality mass market products, have caused new dimensions in fair competition for the distribution and sales of products to consumers, as well as to the business-to-business (BTB) and business-to-consumer (BTC) marketing and distribution of products within the professional beauty supplies industry. These issues can also impact many types of businesses, from food and banking services, manufacturing, auto industry, and consumer products. The literature suggests that most, if not all, businesses have been or will be affected in one way or another by e-commerce and the Internet. This study explores the purchasing patterns of professional beauty products by salons because of the potential impact that e-commerce and the Internet may have on the purchasing of products, distribution of products, and on the distribution channels themselves. 600 salons were mailed a questionnaire that elicited their opinions on decision making related to obtaining information and purchasing beauty supplies used and sold in their salon, as well as on their opinions and use of the Internet. The results of this study and its conclusions may allow the adjustment and/or enhancement of both current and future strategies employed by salons, distributors and manufacturers in the professional beauty industry channel. These findings may also assist other business managers by alerting them to potential pitfalls, as well as possible areas of opportunities within their own businesses. The findings may contribute to the understanding of the needs of salons, and small businesses in general, and may help channel members devise strategies to meet the current and future needs of salons, stylists and consumers of professional beauty products.