The Kirschner Group
TAGS: The Kirschner Group

The Kirschner Group’s First 40 years!

Harlan Kirschner is the founder of the Kirschner Group, an American company which offers business support and services for the global beauty industry. As the group celebrates its 40th anniversary, Mr Kirschner speaks to us in an expression of his deep commitment to our industry, while exemplifying the spirit that led to the Kirschner Group’s success. We hope to keep growing with him for many more years in continued cooperation and mutual respect.


The Kirschner Group, Inc proudly celebrates their 40th anniversary of servicing beauty customers and manufacturers. When I founded the Kirschner Group, Inc in 1984, I could not have dreamed that we would be able to create the largest sales organization in the world for beauty representation. When we began this business, there where over 40 regional sales organization with each one having on average about 6 sales reps and covering one of 5 territories here in the United States. There were thousands of over-the-counter beauty supplies and hundreds of distributors from coast to coast. Each of those distributors serving large cities or at best one entire state. We had many top platform stylists who were founding their own liquid brands and you had more distributors than you had brands back then.

Kirschner Group

We had two BBSI shows, one in Las Vegas and one that moved from major cities throughout the US every January. We had a Western Buying Conference that had hundreds of customer attendee’s and generally about 175 manufacturers exhibiting. There was also an Eastern Buying Conference that was equally successful every year in New Jersey.

I have been blessed to serve on the industry boards of directors for over 25 years for both BBSI, ABA and PBA. I was also giving the opportunity to be one of the founders of our Beauty Industry Executive Summit we do every year in Arizona. Lastly, I was privileged to be honoured with the “Spirit of Life” award in 2014 which is the highest honour our industry can bestow. So, in those years, I was able to see amazing amounts of data and meet some of our industries most inspiring leaders. That was the landscape 40 years ago and now to today’s landscape.

Today the Kirschner Group, Inc is a global sales organization with seasoned professionals living in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Canada and of course the United States. We service all channels of the beauty industry including full-service distributors, chain stores, chain salons, prestige retailers, mass, drug and grocery. We have many online retailers that are experts on Amazon, Tik Tok and social media. The world is changing rapidly post COVID and evolving strategies for market success is critical. Today when visiting large beauty companies, analytics, social media strategies and innovation are the recipes for success. Brands have to develop points of difference that are significant, marketing that is unique, and in some cases a strong influencer strategy. In many channels of beauty consumers are seeking more natural, organic, sustainable and environmentally friendly products as they are far more educated today. The prestige market continues to grow with Ulta and Sephora leading the way with both selection and quality offerings. Retailers like Target, Walmart, Boots, Douglas, Watsons are very interested in the beauty category and growing that space constantly.

Consumers in the international markets love American made products as they have confidence that the products are made to the highest standards possible. The perception that the USA has the F.D.A. and other regulatory government agencies assures products are what they claim they are. There is no doubt the salon channel of beauty was hit hard by the COVID era with salons globally being closed for many months and the migration of salon professionals moving to suites and even setting up salons in their homes. The manicuring salons had one of the biggest hits as press on nails and “do it yourself” kits gained popularity through and after COVID. Children’s haircutting salons got hit hard as more parents bought clippers and scissors to cut their children’s hair at home. We see growth in the barbering channel as exciting new types of styles and cuts fuel that growth.

Over these last 40 years we have experienced enormous change however nothing like the last few years with the proliferation of Amazon, DTC, social media and influencer brands. We are in a very rapid period of evolution where winners will have to be creative, fast acting, innovative and well financed. Some of our industries legacy brands will fade away as consumers appetites change and they are better educated on features and benefits of products. It is a very exciting era for business but challenging to be able to attract the consumers attention. Our goal with our management team is to adapt, evolve and serve the industry for many years to come.

Latest Post