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Industry Trends: Coming Full Circle

By: Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Posted: December 1, 2011, from the December 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona, recently launched its Focused Stay programs.

Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona, recently launched its Focused Stay programs.

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Demonstrating how the skin care industry is moving forward, ISPA recently identified seven key indicators that have helped spas effectively manage change during the economic downfall. Following are examples of how spa professionals throughout the nation are effectively putting them to use.

1. Employment: Reshaping the workforce. Joe Mandato, owner of La Bella Spa in Merritt Island, Florida, has shifted his team’s focus to leadership, and is learning how team members can utilize their strengths and skills to change La Bella Spa’s clients’ lives. He is establishing concrete methods to increase his team’s leadership, his spa’s efficiency, his clients’ satisfaction and, ultimately, his bottom line. This year, he based many of his tactics on the book Strengths Based Leadership (Gallop Press, 2009) .

2. Diversity: Increased appeal to broader audiences. Timeless Spa & Salt Cave in Naperville, Illinois, opened the doors to its Himalayan salt cave in 2009. Owner Jody Buckle was inspired to take on this venture after enjoying another salt cave’s benefits—it offered something different that clients couldn’t get at every spa. The 12-foot by 26-foot cave is made up of 10,000 pounds of Himalayan salt on the walls, as well as a layer of salt on the floor. Buckle explained that Himalayan salt is often considered the highest quality of salt for its therapeutic benefits and its resilience, being as old as the Himalayan mountain range from which it is mined.

3. Environmental sustainability: Going green. Spa Gregorie’s Day Spas & Salons, with multiple locations in California, has been thinking green since its inception in 1998 and is a proud founding member of the Green Spa Network, a nonprofit organization designed to bring sustainable operating practices to the spa industry. Spa Gregorie’s has always upheld a commitment to keeping the environment healthy and some of the practices maintained include utilizing recycled paper and soy ink for all printed materials at every location; donating towels to nonprofit organizations; using unbleached paper towels for treatments; recycling all bottles, cans and products used in services; and installing low-flow showerheads and toilets, among other efforts. Owner Angela Cortright strives to embrace renewing the planet, and encourages her clients to renew wellness each and every day.

4. Value: Re-engineering menus to offer discounts and incentives without sacrificing quality. Egea Spa in Evanston, Illinois, worked hard to find creative ways to appeal to clients ... ways that didn’t involve discounting. Owner Kathy Pappas says it’s all about staying power. She was concerned about online discounting, and feels the only thing that it’s doing is eroding the average selling price by training clients to wait until a service is put on sale. Her spa offers gift-with-purchase incentives, hosts various events, and also does direct marketing and offers series sales. It also has loyalty, birthday and referral programs to entice clients with added value.