Letters

Do you have a strong opinion, or disagree with somebody else’s point of view on topics related to the spa industry? If so, Spa Business would love to hear from you. Email your letters, thoughts and suggestions to [email protected]



DAY SPAS ARE THE KEY TO TACKLING LONELINESS

 

Mia Kyricos
 
Mia Kyricos Chief Brand Officer Spafinder Wellness Inc

The opportunity for spas to help with the ‘age of loneliness’ that we’re seeing globally was highlighted, in-depth recently in Spa Business (see SB15/2 p86). However, there were a couple of points I’d like to bring to the table that weren’t covered.

Firstly, I feel technology is what’s driving this change. Although we’re connected to each other over the internet – we spend more time, on average, in front of our various screens than we do sleeping – we’re interacting far less in person. This is particularly the case in the developing world, with India, China and Brazil’s singleton populations growing the fastest.

Secondly, while the article focused primarily on how destination spas could tackle loneliness, I think it’s day spas that have a bigger role to play. Those wellness properties closest to our homes, in our own backyards, have an opportunity to become the new ‘third place’. Just like the ‘Starbucks phenomenon’, where the local coffee shop became a favoured destination between the office and the homes, so too can day spas, yoga studios and wellness centres.

We’re seeing this hyper-social behaviour already emerging in the fitness industry, with brands such as CrossFit and SoulCycle bringing together individuals to sweat it out. These brands have found a way to foster a culture of community along with wellbeing (or at least one aspect of it), resulting in clients who not only work out together but who even vacation together. Arguably it’s technology that helped formed that community – aiding offline, as well as online, connections.

If this is something the spa industry – particularly day spas – can tap into, it could be one way to reach out to lonely people.

Mia Kyricos
email: [email protected]
Twitter: @mkyricos


 


Dasha Petrenko/Shutterstock

Day spas close to our homes can become social hubs

UBER FOR MASSAGE: CONVENIENCE AGAINST EXPERIENCE

 

Lopo Champalimaud
 
Lopo Champalimaud CEO Wahanda

The increasing popularity of massage-on-demand businesses has raised a contentious issue in the spa industry, as focused on in Spa Business (see SB15/3 p70).

The trend for mobile browsing and the desire for ‘right here right now’ among consumers has revealed a gap in the market that massage-on-demand is filling. With spas failing to provide last-minute and same-day appointments, businesses connecting mobile therapists with consumers are thriving.

That said, I don’t see massage-on-demand businesses as a threat to spas. They offer the convenience of at-home services but visiting a spa enables you to escape from your day-to-day; it becomes a haven where you can unwind without the presence of daily pressures. Add in the use of spa facilities and you have a service that no mobile therapist can compete with.

Does this mean it will become a battle of convenience against experience? I sincerely hope not. Spa bookings at Wahanda have nearly doubled in the last 12 months, which shows that demand for spas shows no sign of waning and that these two businesses can easily co-exist.

One thing we’re sure of is that it’s crucial for spas to embrace the change in consumer behaviour and realise the benefit of opening up last-minute bookings. The importance of a mobile booking platform and real-time availability should not be underestimated. Spas that use software systems to block out busy periods with zero lead time are leading the movement to give clients the treatments they want; when they want them.

Lopo Champalimaud
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 330 100 3515


 


lolostock / shutterstock

It’s crucial for spas to realise the benefits of last-minute bookings if they are to compete with on-demand home-based treatments

UBER VETTING ISSUE RAISES CONCERNS ABOUT MASSAGE-ON-DEMAND

 

Iain Martin
 
Iain Martin
Consultant Massage Heights

Spa Business’ article on massage-on-demand (see SB15/3 p70) highlights the trend for accessible and affordable massage services in the US.

But although some people like to have massage in their own homes, it’s not clear how massage-on-demand businesses vet therapists in order to safeguard clients, and many will still prefer the experience and security of attending a professional spa. The recent issues faced by Uber, when one of its taxi drivers assaulted passengers after not being appropriately vetted, is likely to increase people’s concerns about inviting strangers into their homes.

Enabling people to book therapists to visit their homes or places of work is not the only solution for more affordable and accessible spa services. At Massage Heights we’ve been part of a wider revolution in the US that’s changed massage from being something that was a rare treat to a high street essential.

Over the last 10 years, our approach has been to transfer the membership model used by the fitness industry to spas (our customers pay a monthly fee for regular massages), locate our retreats in urban areas across the USA and Canada, and open longer hours.

As a result, massage has become a frequent experience for many more people and the high street massage industry is one of the fastest growing in the US.

Is this concept right for Europe? We think so and see the UK as an ideal virgin market.

So as we look to grow our franchise model internationally with the help of like-minded entrepreneurs, we hope UK customers will soon be able to benefit from regular, professional massage services on the high street.

Iain Martin
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 1562 261162


 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Spa Business
2015 issue 4

View issue contents

Leisure Management -



Letters


Do you have a strong opinion, or disagree with somebody else’s point of view on topics related to the spa industry? If so, Spa Business would love to hear from you. Email your letters, thoughts and suggestions to [email protected]


DAY SPAS ARE THE KEY TO TACKLING LONELINESS

 

Mia Kyricos
 
Mia Kyricos Chief Brand Officer Spafinder Wellness Inc

The opportunity for spas to help with the ‘age of loneliness’ that we’re seeing globally was highlighted, in-depth recently in Spa Business (see SB15/2 p86). However, there were a couple of points I’d like to bring to the table that weren’t covered.

Firstly, I feel technology is what’s driving this change. Although we’re connected to each other over the internet – we spend more time, on average, in front of our various screens than we do sleeping – we’re interacting far less in person. This is particularly the case in the developing world, with India, China and Brazil’s singleton populations growing the fastest.

Secondly, while the article focused primarily on how destination spas could tackle loneliness, I think it’s day spas that have a bigger role to play. Those wellness properties closest to our homes, in our own backyards, have an opportunity to become the new ‘third place’. Just like the ‘Starbucks phenomenon’, where the local coffee shop became a favoured destination between the office and the homes, so too can day spas, yoga studios and wellness centres.

We’re seeing this hyper-social behaviour already emerging in the fitness industry, with brands such as CrossFit and SoulCycle bringing together individuals to sweat it out. These brands have found a way to foster a culture of community along with wellbeing (or at least one aspect of it), resulting in clients who not only work out together but who even vacation together. Arguably it’s technology that helped formed that community – aiding offline, as well as online, connections.

If this is something the spa industry – particularly day spas – can tap into, it could be one way to reach out to lonely people.

Mia Kyricos
email: [email protected]
Twitter: @mkyricos


 


Dasha Petrenko/Shutterstock

Day spas close to our homes can become social hubs

UBER FOR MASSAGE: CONVENIENCE AGAINST EXPERIENCE

 

Lopo Champalimaud
 
Lopo Champalimaud CEO Wahanda

The increasing popularity of massage-on-demand businesses has raised a contentious issue in the spa industry, as focused on in Spa Business (see SB15/3 p70).

The trend for mobile browsing and the desire for ‘right here right now’ among consumers has revealed a gap in the market that massage-on-demand is filling. With spas failing to provide last-minute and same-day appointments, businesses connecting mobile therapists with consumers are thriving.

That said, I don’t see massage-on-demand businesses as a threat to spas. They offer the convenience of at-home services but visiting a spa enables you to escape from your day-to-day; it becomes a haven where you can unwind without the presence of daily pressures. Add in the use of spa facilities and you have a service that no mobile therapist can compete with.

Does this mean it will become a battle of convenience against experience? I sincerely hope not. Spa bookings at Wahanda have nearly doubled in the last 12 months, which shows that demand for spas shows no sign of waning and that these two businesses can easily co-exist.

One thing we’re sure of is that it’s crucial for spas to embrace the change in consumer behaviour and realise the benefit of opening up last-minute bookings. The importance of a mobile booking platform and real-time availability should not be underestimated. Spas that use software systems to block out busy periods with zero lead time are leading the movement to give clients the treatments they want; when they want them.

Lopo Champalimaud
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 330 100 3515


 


lolostock / shutterstock

It’s crucial for spas to realise the benefits of last-minute bookings if they are to compete with on-demand home-based treatments

UBER VETTING ISSUE RAISES CONCERNS ABOUT MASSAGE-ON-DEMAND

 

Iain Martin
 
Iain Martin
Consultant Massage Heights

Spa Business’ article on massage-on-demand (see SB15/3 p70) highlights the trend for accessible and affordable massage services in the US.

But although some people like to have massage in their own homes, it’s not clear how massage-on-demand businesses vet therapists in order to safeguard clients, and many will still prefer the experience and security of attending a professional spa. The recent issues faced by Uber, when one of its taxi drivers assaulted passengers after not being appropriately vetted, is likely to increase people’s concerns about inviting strangers into their homes.

Enabling people to book therapists to visit their homes or places of work is not the only solution for more affordable and accessible spa services. At Massage Heights we’ve been part of a wider revolution in the US that’s changed massage from being something that was a rare treat to a high street essential.

Over the last 10 years, our approach has been to transfer the membership model used by the fitness industry to spas (our customers pay a monthly fee for regular massages), locate our retreats in urban areas across the USA and Canada, and open longer hours.

As a result, massage has become a frequent experience for many more people and the high street massage industry is one of the fastest growing in the US.

Is this concept right for Europe? We think so and see the UK as an ideal virgin market.

So as we look to grow our franchise model internationally with the help of like-minded entrepreneurs, we hope UK customers will soon be able to benefit from regular, professional massage services on the high street.

Iain Martin
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 1562 261162



Originally published in Spa Business 2015 issue 4

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