History has proven time and again that when economies hit downturns, two industries usually remain strong—entertainment and beauty. During the Great Depression (1929–1939), banks, farms and businesses failed, disillusioning an entire country. At the same time, the much-needed escape provided by entertainment and beauty remained not only constant, but it grew.
According to the Global Spa Benchmark Report from 2009 compiled by Intelligent Spas, spa industry revenue predictions originally forecast during the last quarter of 2008 were revised down 9.4% for 2009. However, the International SPA Association’s (ISPA) 2009 U.S. Spa Industry Update found that overall industry revenues continued to grow at an annual rate of 17.8%. There also appears to be a certain amount of reshuffling as some spas close their doors, and others report an increase in revenue and client base. Although this may be attributed to the slow economy, it may also be a natural growth indicator of the industry. What this means for you is that the spa industry is still going strong, but the field is narrowing and competition is fierce. Recognizing trends and acting on the ones that appeal to your clients is one way to keep your business in the game.
According to the 2008 trends survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), expensive, invasive skin care treatments and rejuvenation procedures are losing their edge in this economy as clients seek more affordable, less severe options. This presents an interesting opportunity for spas. Despite tight budgets, decreased profit projections and overall belt-tightening, it may be worth investing in phototherapy equipment. Phototherapy is a broad term used to describe treatment procedures that utilize light. The spa industry typically relates it to treatments of skin conditions using intense pulsed light (IPL) or lasers. Phototherapy equipment emits the light and heat energy that is used in treating skin. The ability to offer noninvasive, nonabrasive skin treatments may help your business weather this economic storm and place it in a winning position when the clouds clear.