No one would disagree that the U.S. spa industry suffered significantly during the Great Recession. And most people would agree that the spa industry is back on track. Numbers from the International SPA Association's 2014 U.S. Spa Industry Survey indicate as much.
However, in my mind, the U.S. spa industry has changed more in the past five years than it has in the previous 10—which is about as long as I have been paying attention to the industry. Not since Marcia Kilgore democratized the spa and made the idea of going to spas whimsical, sassy, and "no-attitude" with the opening of the first Bliss Spa in 1996 in New York City has the spa industry changed so much.
In many ways, what Kilgore can be credited as having started (the democratization of spas) has continued to develop. Massage Envy, which today boasts more than 1,000 locations, was founded on the idea that massages and facials should be approachable and affordable to all.
Innovation and trends outside of our industry have also impacted the way that consumers look at spas. Maybe it was the flash-sale craze (Groupon, HauteLook, and more) that led consumers to expect quality services at discounted prices—the new normal. Maybe it was the advent of Uber that created the expectation that apps should rule our world and that everything could be ordered from our mobile devices. Or maybe it was Airbnb that led everyone to question the status quo and how things have always been done, and expect more. And, of course, the constant intensification of the role of social media in all of our lives cannot but impact every aspect of our life, including spa.
Continue reading this story in Beauty Store Business' August digital edition.
[Image courtesy of Ada S. Polla; Photo by Kelli Dailey, Third Line Studios]