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Creating a Spa Boutique With Limited Space

By: Patti Biro
Posted: December 30, 2011, from the January 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Undiscovered spaces can create additional retail display areas. Take a fresh look at any unused space in your facility. You may have space in a hallway, in a waiting area or next to a manicure or pedicure station. Use your front desk to display a few impulse purchase items, such as attractive lipsticks, pocket mirrors or other small items. Perhaps your artwork can be rotated or moved to make a space for a shelf to feature a product display. Even more unique would be to partner with a local artist to provide original artwork for display in your business. You can negotiate a commission for artwork that is sold.

Take advantage of a captive audience. Don’t overlook the potential of using your client restroom as a way to feature retail items. You can display soaps, home fragrance items, candles and featured products in a way that lets clients try and experience them before they purchase.

No additional space required—create an online store. Use your website as a selling tool, not just a marketing tool. It requires no extra space to create an online store. The 2010 Retail Sales in the Day Spa Industry report from the Day Spa Association indicated that only 23% of spas used their websites for retail products, but nearly all sell gift certificates. Most websites or online booking programs can create a shopping cart for retail products, as well.

Focus on visual merchandising. Clients buy with their eyes. Product displays should be planned out and changed at least monthly. Mixing things up makes your retail area look fresh. Don’t display your entire product inventory at once; fewer products beautifully displayed will have more impact.

Patti Biro is the owner and founder of Patti Biro and Associates, a consulting firm specializing in planning and providing innovative continuing education in the spa and wellness industries. She is a frequent presenter on the regional, national and international circuit. She can be contacted at 877-561-0738 or via e-mail at