UK Spa Market
(DAY SPAS, BEAUTY, PAMPERING, WELLNESS
Wellness is the new consumer priority.
Spas, with their unique mix of therapies and treatments, outperform the beauty market.
Innovation drives spa growth and best performers show double digit sales growth.
new beauty and wellness treatments. In doing so,
they established new beauty and wellness priorities for consumers. In what is the
most curious development, spas have become the best performers in the beauty market by
delivering appearance enhancement as a part – even a bonus
– of their core wellness package.
Spas meet a new consumer need for wellness and in the process have grown from
zero to a business worth more than UK Stg billion
in a decade. The spa offer may
appear diffuse but there are three distinct and well established pillars and these are
wellness therapies, beauty or appearance enhancement, and pampering treatments.
The particular therapy emphasis, or treatment mix, can vary but the spa visit is an integral part of a wellness lifestyle.
At first glance, spas present a confusing range of the traditional and high tech because they have
drawn on such disparate sources
for their treatment and wellness therapies. At home they have borrowed from the beauty salon, alternative wellness practitioner, the dermatologist, medical and laser clinic. Abroad, they have picked from Asia to Scandinavia.
The resulting “spa offer” is unique and quite distinct from that of the sectors out of
which it developed. This ability to adapt and integrate explains why different
, seemingly incompatible, co-exist and underpin the core business.
For example, pampering and wellness elements must be exclusively natural
however, can be organic or natural or even a combination of the organic and the high tech or
Massages and spas are now synonymous because the massage is the main spa therapy.
Massages which energise, rejuvenate
and deliver wellness to clients generate well
over 50% of sales for the spa. The best selling massage, - the “deep tissue” or Swedish massage
- relieves tension and stress.
Bodycare sets the spa apart from the traditional beauty salon.
Spas now offer treatments, previously only available for the face, which beautify the body.
The most popular “facials for the body”
are massages, wraps and scrubs which cleanse, exfoliate and refine the skin.
Spas have grown exponentially by delivering beauty from within, that is wellness
cum appearance-enhancement. Additionally, stand-alone beauty treatments also
generate significant revenues for spas. It is anti-ageing
skin care which
is the main driver of demand for beauty in spas. It must be noted that different types of
spas (day, hotel, med) provide quite distinct body and skincare treatments but this is because a
number of factors (regulations, location, space and philosophy) determines just what is possible.
It is innovation in beauty as with wellness - in terms of product formulation
and treatment delivery – which has allowed spas to outperform the traditional beauty market.
Beauty treatments, both high tech and natural, are sold as a package, that is a
sequence and combination of treatments
, utilizing a range of skills and a variety of products.
In a nutshell, spas outperform because they sell more treatments and products
to more people more frequently. Their client base is wide as they have attracted millions
of new consumers – especially younger women and men. They are a fixture of the urban
The wellness paradigm
is now shaping the entire beauty,
personal care and wellbeing sector. The effect can already be seen in selective
para-pharmacies and hypermarkets. This shift in consumer behaviour is forcing innovation on the
The story of massages best explains
both the spa trajectory and its potential
. Massages are now mainstream
is a dramatic transformation of what was once an artisan
sector. Until recently,
they were mainly provided by sole practitioners (eg, alternative health) and viewed as a
or in some cases with suspicion as “sleaze”. Now massage chains are being
rolled out (especially in the US) such is their demand.
Not surprisingly, there is confidence in the fundamental strength
of the sector
and its capacity to grow. Spa sales softened in 2010 due to the recession but the best performers expect
a return to double digit
The main factors driving expansion are continuing demand for wellness by the consumer and
constant innovation in therapies, treatments and technologies on the part of the spa.
Spas are at a very virtuous point of their growth cycle.
Increased demand for
by spa users drives innovation which then expands both
demand and the consumer base.
Table of Contents
Beauty Report Series
Buying Spa Market Reports