The influence of competitive strategy on he performance of hair salons in Nairobi
The hair and beauty industry in Kenya has in the last few years experienced a lot of changes and growth which have affected the state of competition. The society has become keener on their grooming and is demanding for more professional services from the salons than ever before. The industry has witnessed the rise of many salons in the urban centers and also in the estates. This has demanded that the hair salons formulate and implement competitive strategies to be able to cope with competitive pressure. This study sought to determine the competitive strategies employed by the hair salons in Nairobi and the influence of the competitive strategies on the performance of the hair salons. A sample size of 40 hair salons was used of which only 31 responded positively. Data was collected through mail questionnaire which were directed to the salon owners or the managers of the salons. The questionnaires were dropped and picked later due to non availability of some of the respondents. The findings of this study indicate that the most commonly used competitive strategies in the industry are cost leadership and differentiation strategies. There is however use of focus strategy but to a limited extent. In the literature there were no conclusive findings on whether competitive strategy led to improved performance. The results of this study indicated that differentiation as a competitive strategy influenced performance positively. It however found no association between cost and focus strategies and performance. From the findings of the study owners and managers of hair salons are encouraged to develop ways of differentiating themselves from competition so as to stand out as unique to their clients. The researcher recommends further studies on the influence of competitive strategy and performance in other industries and also a study on the challenges of strategy development and implementation in the hair and beauty industry.