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spa appeal
Sian Brenchley rounds up the findings of Mintel’s recent Salon and Spa report
pas are commonly considered new markets (under the age of fi ve) have a particular
the perfect complement to A worrying finding of the research is propensity to want to visit a spa.
the health and fitness industry, that more than six in 10 adults (62 per There’s also a direct correlation
but Mintel’s latest research cent) say that salons and spas have no between household size and the desire
reveals a number of consumer attitudes appeal; feedback from respondents to go to a spa: three in 10 adults who
that still need to be addressed to ensure suggests much of this may be down to live in households of fi ve or more people
relevancy and to maximise awareness the belief, most prevalent among men, have always wanted to go to a spa. Those
among prime target audiences. that spas are boring. Pressure to buy in households with three or more people
Defi nition is the key issue identifi ed expensive treatments and diversification are also more likely to regard the spa as
in the new Salon and Spa report. Mintel into fine dining, eroding what a spa a place to go for relaxation and escapism.
asked respondents to defi ne a spa, explain should represent, also come into play. These adults represent a key gifting
what services a spa should offer, and Mintel’s research also reveals that 28 opportunity: as parents, they may fi nd
what facilities it absolutely must have per cent of consumers think of a spa visit it diffi cult to justify splashing out on
in order to qualify as one – revealing as a ‘special treat’, rather than an ongoing themselves at the spa, instead preferring
an interesting gap in perception. The lifestyle choice. This has not driven to direct the money towards the
Spa Business Association defi nes a spa the purchase of spa vouchers as a gift, children. Targeting the partners of these
as having to provide at least one water- however, with just 3 per cent of adults adults, encouraging them to purchase
based treatment. However, although receiving these in the last 12 months. spa vouchers as a treat, could help bring
a handful of respondents in the Mintel Nevertheless, despite an apparent lack the 8.2 million adults who’ve always
survey mentioned some water treatments of appeal to the majority, it’s not all bad wanted to visit a spa into the market.
– most notably spa pools – people were news. An estimated eight million adults Younger adults (aged 16–24) who haven’t
more likely to focus on the way in which a say they’ve always wanted to go to a been to the spa, and for whom time and
spa makes them feel, rather than the sorts spa. In demographic terms, these people cost may be the two key obstacles, are
of treatment available. For the majority of are likely to have children, with the spa another potential target market.
consumers today, spas represent escapism, offering a means of escapism from family
pampering and retreat. responsibilities. Parents of young children disposable income
The current economic climate has also
presented its challenges to the industry
over the past year and will undoubtedly
have an impact on shaping consumer
T attitudes in the year ahead. Of most
concern is that a quarter of consumers
now believe spa treatments to be too
expensive. In addition, while Mintel
estimates that almost four in 10 UK
women have not changed their beauty
routine in response to the recession, 55
per cent have made cost-cutting
measures, including increasing time in
between salon visits, stopping going, or
switching to at-home alternatives. More
than two in five (44 per cent) use these
cost-cutting strategies to maintain their
beauty treatments at a lower cost.
There’s little difference in spend on
beauty treatments depending on whether
a woman is married or single. However,
women are signifi cantly less likely to have
Defi nitions Only a few respondents
associated spas with water
treatments; more focused on
the way a spa makes them feel
74 Read Health Club Management online february 2010 © cybertrek 2010
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