Here is the backstory: The CEO of one of the largest massage clubs in the U.S. published a post on LinkedIn’s Pulse on the topic of using trends to compete particularly in spa and wellness. Read More
Wellness tourism is projected for an 11 percent compound annual growth rate through 2020, according to Technavio analysts. Primary wellness tourists traveling internationally outspend the average international tourist by at least 60 percent, signaling a growing and valuable revenue stream for hotels.
The growth of Southeast Asia, namely Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, is also projected to fuel the market. Read More
As beauty outlets like Ulta continue their explosive sales in cosmetic and skin care products, how is the spa industry strategizing to capture its own share of the retail market?
Not all retail stores are under pressure. One new chain is expanding. Based on a successful formula, the chain plans to add 100 new 10,000-square-foot stores this year for a total of more than 970 units. The stores are called “Ulta Beauty” (Ulta, not Ultra, notice) and offer makeup, skin care, fragrances and hair products.
A recent article from The Wall Street Journal revealed Ulta’s strategy (1). The first building block of success is location. Ulta avoids the premium urban sites some retailers choose. Instead, Ulta picks less expensive secondary locations, with little or no competition, in outdoor strip malls instead of enclosed malls, where shoppers can easily park and walk directly inside.
The second building block is Ulta gets women to try, wear and, most important, play with beauty products. Mass brands like Cover Girl and Maybelline, normally available in drug and big-box stores, occupy one side while prestige brands like Lancôme and Clinique, usually found only in exclusive department stores, are on the other. Customers can test most products, even hair dryers. And Ulta is dynamic with promotions that bundle top sellers with new items, a technique that takes the focus away from straight discounting and instead encourages customers to discover new things.
This mix of brands offers a broad range of prices, from $2 lip liners to $200 hair dryers, and appeals to all ages. Mothers and daughters often shop together, with three in four customers spending 15 minutes or more in the store, and one in five spending 30 minutes or more. The stores have hair salons, and often facial stations and “brow bars” for eyebrow shaping.
“You hear and see and smell and feel beauty happening around you. It elevates the whole store, even if you are not using it,” Dave Kimbell, Ulta’s chief marketing and merchandising officer, told The Wall Street Journal.
Shoppers test shades of lipstick, sniff different fragrances or get a blowout. “You can’t Amazon that,” said Oliver Chen, head of retail and luxury goods at analyst Cowen & Co, calling Ulta one of a handful of “Un-Amazon-able” retailers in The Wall Street Journal.
Some consumers describe their experience as feeling like a kid in Disneyland. And while there is increasing competition from drug stores and more upscale beauty retailers like Sephora, Ulta differentiates itself by offering both mass and prestige brands together. This encourages what the company calls “mass migration,” where a shopper coming in to buy a cheaper lipstick will wander over to check out more expensive items.
To encourage prestige brands to market outside their usual exclusive upscale retail settings, Ulta sets the high-end brands apart with dedicated areas, special seating, signage and fixtures.
While salon services make up just a small percentage of sales, those customers must make an appointment that forces them to come into the store regularly. These shoppers spend 2.5 times more than non-salon customers and shop twice as often.
Natural products retailers have the ability to offer the same sort of elevated shopping experience by creating areas where customers can linger and learn, try product samples or demonstrate equipment, receive a chair massage or other health treatment. With a little creative thought, you can apply the lessons from Ulta to make your store “Un-Amazon-able,” too! WF
1. E. Holmes, “A Beauty Retailer That Knows What You Want,” The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2016, www.wsj.com/articles/a-beauty-retailer-that-knows-what-you-want-1466536921, accessed June 29, 2016.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine August 2016 Author Jay Jacobowitz
Recently I’ve read a lot of great articles from spa professionals and product manufacturers. The topics are mostly about how to get spa therapists to sell everything from post facial makeup to yoga clothing.
Fable excerpted from an article by: Earl Nightingale
The Acres of Diamonds story ”a true one” is told of an African farmer who heard tales about other farmers who had made millions by discovering diamond mines. These tales so excited the farmer that he could hardly wait to sell his farm and go prospecting for diamonds himself. Read More
I’ve always been into watching sports. My Dad is head official for the Penn Relays, a national tournament held annually in Philadelphia so track and field is an event that I’m very familiar with.
The great thing about sports is that with the right coach, athletes who might be considered just average can rise to great heights of excellence.
As I watch what’s happening in the spa industry today with retail selling and the lack of therapist training it makes me think about Olympic high jumper Dick Fosbury. (Hang in there with me for a moment and you’ll see where I’m going with this.)
Last week I had a very interesting conversation with the senior manager of a massage club company. I’d experienced great massages from one therapist in particular who works for his company and I told him so. I also mentioned that although stress relieving products are in-house, in two years she had never suggested one to me. I trusted her so I would have purchased almost anything she recommended. I wondered if he might be open to try a new method of training that’s been very effective with therapists. He responded:
“We track metrics and invoke and promote strategies for LEs to improve and drive retail sales in line with our partners’ X and Y. We have instituted a National Director of Esthetics and National Esthetics Trainer to drive this facet of our business from a franchisor level and I’m pleased with the results to date. We significantly outpace our competition X and Y in revenue. I think we have the appropriate vision of what we can do, what we are doing, and are capable of doing.”
I think we have the appropriate vision of what we can do, what we are doing, and are capable of doing.”
I am certain that prior to 1968, world class coaches around the globe held the same conviction about their method of teaching the high jump. And then an athlete named Dick Fosbury showed them something quirky and different.
New methods can often spur your team to levels of achievement that you never imagined.
Always be open.
Linda Harding-Bond is the creator of Increasing Your Retail Selling an Online Training Class for Spa Managers. It is the first retail sales and engagement training designed for how introverts learn.
I worked at a top spa in Philadelphia for ten years. We carried a total of ten skin care lines. I had used them all and was totally in love with maybe six. I could talk for hours about their benefits and the differences between what each product offered.
At that time therapists at the spa were averaging around $3,500 per month in retail product sales. I spoke with the spa manager last week who told me that figure has increased to $5000. That’s the impact of time and experience.
Many of you might assume that high pressure tactics are being used to sell, the clients are outrageously wealthy or the products are overpriced. Read More
Innovation is a hot buzzword. Senior executives in the hospitality industry are burning the midnight oil trying to find ways to innovatively one-up each other. Flying yoga, wellness strategies, sustainability campaigns, the list goes on with one thing in common. They’re all designed to target a larger portion of revenue from the upscale leisure consumer. Read More