Targeting independent salon pros, the marketplace launched the Amazon Professional Beauty Store as an online source of brands like Wella Color Charm and RUSK for professional hair stylists and barbers.

Amazon Business is out to make salon professionals look better in front of their customers.

It’s also using its heft as a dominant marketplace in an effort to stand out as a supplier to the niche industry of professional hair stylists, barbers and estheticians. It launched today the Amazon Professional Beauty Store, an online source for products ranging from hair-coloring supplies and barber shears to storage carts and massage tables.

“Many professional stylists work independently and purchase a variety of beauty products specific to their customer needs, often traveling to multiple cosmetology stores,” Amazon says in a blog posted today. “Stores may be owned by major brands and thus have few competing products, with no price comparison. Amazon Business can address these stylist pain-points with its large number of selling partners and fast, convenient delivery directly to their business.”

“Stylists can find more of what they need at great prices with convenient delivery options, freeing up their time to focus on what’s important: their customers,” Steve Kann, director of customer experience at Amazon Business, says in the blog.

Online salon competition

Amazon is restricting its sale of “professional-use” products to buyers with a license to practice their craft, such as state-issued cosmetology, barber or esthetician licenses. Buyers can upload images of their licenses to set up an online account and gain access to products.

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Amazon is not without online competitors that specialize in supplying salons with products ranging from hair-treatment supplies to cutting tools and furnishings. St. Petersburg, Florida-based SalonCentric operates a distribution business across 48 states with SalonCentric.com, a team of sales consultants and a chain of more than 560 stores.

Salon Guys, which does most of its sales online at SalonGuys.com, operates a single showroom at its headquarters in Sacramento, California.

Neither SalonCentric nor Salon Guys immediately responded to requests for comment about Amazon’s drive into their industry.

Amazon Business, which launched in 2015 as the successor to Amazon Supply, says it reached $1 billion in sales during its first year and is now doing more than $10 billion a year. Analysts have predicted it will surpass $20 billion in annual sales within a couple of years.

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