Why Mechanics are Now Offering Manicures
Photo: Meet Gus, Your New Manicurist
Imagine going to the garage down the street to get work done on your car and being able to get work done on your fingernails at the same time. Forget your exhaust manifold, we're talking exhaustive manicure! Believe it or not, this new service initiative may be coming to a mechanic's garage near you.
"Change the oil, check the fluids and reapply my nail polish, please!"
A surprising number of automotive maintenance and repair companies around the globe are seriously pursuing women clients with female-centric service options that go beyond checking our wipers, changing our oil and greasing our... um... nipples. They now encompass such novel offerings as manicures, massages and facials. It is obviously a reflection of the reality that women are beginning to dominate the car market as this Forbes article reveals.
We're Number One!
According to Forbes, for the first time ever, American women hold more drivers licenses than their male counterparts do in practically every age category, especially those over 55. Canadian figures are slightly lower but are still trending strongly in the same direction as the US numbers. This makes it seem obvious why so many auto garages might want to look at this emerging market, especially given the well-earned historic dislike and distrust many women have for male mechanics.
Automotive Firms Anti-Female?
In the past many females have reported feeling like the coverall brigade is bent on overcharging and misrepresenting the danger or necessity of car repairs. The focus is to make these women feel comfortable and to allow them to gain trust in an establishment that has obviously been geared toward a female demographic. Many women customers report they feel far more comfortable in a place that seems to understand their gender as opposed to the intimidation they feel at more old-school male-minded mechanic's garage.
Vive La Difference!
Forget the automotive garage with the dark, dingy waiting room that time forgot, these forward-looking businesses are making their service centres salon bright and as inviting for ladies as a beauty spa that serves free chocolate. Gone are the dust-covered, out-of-date girlie calendars and gruff-sounding grumps at the counter. These have been replaced with clean, bright, well-kept waiting rooms, often staffed by women with a nail salon right on the premises to offer the aforementioned manicures. This approach effectively allows their busy lady clients to kill two birds with one stone.
It's a Start
To be sure there are still very few such businesses that are actively pursuing female customers by offering salon services on site, but their numbers are growing. One garage in Saint-Ouen-l'Aumone, near Paris, France only employs females in both their spa and their service bays. In Houston, Texas, one enterprising car dealership, John Eagle Honda, features a "ladies day" every Wednesday morning with a free professional manicurist on site who is encouraged not to accept tips.
Anything Closer to Home?
Sadly, the only place we found in Alberta that would apply polish to both your car's paint job and your fingernails was a company called Elle Auto in Calgary who marketed their garage mostly to women, with manicure offers and the like, but ultimately they went out of business. The problem with their service delivery model isn't apparent but hopefully the issue wasn't they were using the same guy to fix tires as to fix the chip in your gel nail.