Spas focusing on maintenance treatments to stay competitive

City spas need to put more focus on maintenance treatments such as waxing and manicures to stay competitive, according to Resense chief executive Kasha Shillington.

Shillington, whose company operates 26 spas worldwide, said bridging the gap between salon basics and indulgent spa rituals was the key to repeat business in city spas.

“We found that in a city, a lot of women will go to a hotel spa rather than a salon because you’ve got a bit more luxury: that 20sqm treatment room, the client journey, the welcome drink, and they’re happy to pay a bit more for the experience,” said Shillington.

However, she believes most spas underestimate the importance of maintenance treatments to their bottom line. “People go through the revenue from their spa and say OK, it’s 60% massage so we’ll focus on that. But it might be 10% waxing and that’s a significant percentage.”

Resense is now rolling out a programme of “add-ons” across its city spas, where clients who come in for a beauty treatment will be given a surprise extra element such as a collagen mask while they’re having a wax. “It’s about towel management, too. We’ll relax the client and set her up for a proper treatment. People are surprised to get something extra for free, so they come back and they tell their friends.”

Q Hotels has also upped its focus on maintenance treatments this year. “The mix of massage business needed changing, to improve our retention of therapists through a more balanced schedule,” said Q’s group spa support Charlie Thompson.

He created two new hand and foot rituals that can be chosen as part of a spa day. “Since the beginning of 2015 when we created these, there has been a 3% shift already. That’s over 1,000 fewer massages and 1,000 more nail treatments,” he said.

This story first appeared in the June issue of Professional Beauty magazine. To make sure you’re the first to read excusive news, subscribe for £37 a year for print issues, or just £4.99 a year for 12 full digital issues.