Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden set to close after 36 years
London’s iconic Sanctuary Spa will close in May next year, after 36 years in business.
The Covent Garden-based ladies-only day spa will cease operation on May 31, when the lease will go back to the landlord.
The adjacent retail store will then shut its doors in September.
The move follows an earlier decision, announced in July, to close the three Sanctuary high-street boutique spas in Richmond, Cambridge and Bristol.
The PZ Cussons group, which owns The Sanctuary as well as the St Tropez tanning and Charles Worthington hair brands, said it made the decision to also close the famous day spa following changes in customer demand.
The Sanctuary's spa director Catherine Ferma told Professional Beauty: “Our day spa guests have been declining for the past few years but product sales have been very successful and we are seeing a real trend for people moving to doing treatments at home instead of visiting spas."
Ferma added that an increasingly time-poor customer base has also contributed to the decision and that “people just don’t have time to spend a full day at the spa anymore”.
A planned redevelopment of the Covent Garden area, home to The Sanctuary since 1977, has also been a factor. Ferma said the closure was: “A combination of everything. No single one of these issues would on their own have been enough to take this difficult decision.”
The future of the Sanctuary brand now lies with its retail line, with Ferma commenting that “We’re a product business and our strategy is to focus on the core”. The business is currently in discussion with staff about the future of The Sanctuary, with an official announcement expected in mid-November.
Ferma said: “We are currently in consultation with our team, who is our priority, about what the future of The Sanctuary looks like and how we can best support our very successful product business. Whilst this is a really difficult time, we are excited about moving forward and about what the future holds for The Sanctuary.”
While details of the future course for The Sanctuary remain undecided, Ferma suggested that it could be a case of “focusing on being digital and looking at a different way to deliver the Sanctuary expertise”.