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Evolution of Spa Treatments Harkens Changing Consumer Attitudes

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: June 8, 2009, from the June 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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The openness of the skin care bar concept also helps to serve a different kind of spa audience; those who are looking for skin care wellness as well as a place to socialize. “Having it out in the open allows for public excitement and lets groups enjoy services together,” says Crowell. “We’ve increased our sales, too. Instead of talking to someone with a box in your hand, we can have them experience it.”

Wurwand believes that offering these services out in the open also will help keep treatment rooms available while opening up a new area of the spa to become revenue-producing. And for spa owners who balk at the idea of bringing services out into the open, Wurwand reminds, “Vidal Sassoon was the first one in the hair industry to have an open floor plan, and everyone else had a cubicle. That was unheard of in the 1960s. I remember people would say, ‘There is no way I will have my hair colored in front of someone else.’ Look at where we are now.”

Evolution is Mandatory

“As long as we keep hanging on to this idea that the relevance of our industry is luxury and pampering and not skin health and wellness, it becomes less and less relevant to our client who is time- and money-pressed. The skin care bar concept provides a unique profit opportunity and lets other clients see what is offered,” explains Wurwand.

In a time period where cliches abound, Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus’ wisdom holds true: Nothing endures but change. And as the economy bumps along and consumers alter their wellness-based needs and habits in turn, spas provide insight into how to adjust to best serve these changing wants and carve a path for continued success. After all, evolution is mandatory.