Nearly 50 small to large distributors reported steady gross margins while average store sales per invoice increased a dramatic 46 percent when compared to 2010 data, according to the recently released 2012 PBA Distributor Benchmarking Survey.

This biennial study, the longer, more in-depth version of the semi-annual survey, provides more than 60 pages of both quantitative and qualitative data on business practices such as sales, product lines, stores, human resources, education, advertising and promotions, and much more. The 2012 study aims to offer even more insights for distributors with the first-time inclusion of data on accrual fund programs, average square footage of stores, the number of brands carried in stores, and strategies on how respondents plan to exit their business.

“This benchmarking survey covers all aspects of the professional beauty distribution business… It is a must-have for all distributors,” said Steve Neumaier, PBA member and Chair of the survey task force.

Along with highlighting top challenges facing distributorships today, results from the 2012 biennial study showed a decline in credit card processing fees, significant increases in shipping costs, and an overall increase of 86 percent in annual advertising budgets, compared to 2010 results.

PBA members can purchase the full 2012 Biennial Distributor Benchmarking Survey for only $149. Participate in future studies to receive a free copy. The 2013 Mid-Year Semi-Annual Survey opens in July. Learn more about participating and purchase survey reports at

PBA Supports Growth of Beauty Distributors

PBA distributor members benefit from special savings to industry events and business resources, including:

  • Discounted tickets to PBA’s Annual Distributor Executive Conference – a savings of $200 or more
  • Two free 3-day tickets to Cosmoprof North America, the industry’s premier international business-to-business trade show – a savings of $230
  • Discounted tickets to PBA’s Distributor Forum held at Cosmoprof North America each July – a savings of $10 or more
  • Participating distributors receive a free Distributor Benchmarking Survey – a savings of $149

Not a PBA member? PBA membership advances our industry. Join today to benefit from all membership has to offer at Have questions? Contact the PBA Membership Team at 800.468.2274 or email