Charlie Thompson and Elliot Walker launch The Massage Company
Membership salon concept The Massage Company (TMC) has opened its first site with plans to roll out 30 within its first five years of operation via franchising.
The company has been launched by UK Spa Association chair and ex Virgin Active head of beauty Charlie Thompson in partnership with former Murad UK managing director Elliot Walker.
Thompson said the concept had been based on the low-cost gym model and would offer affordable memberships for quality, comfortable treatments within a “no-frills” environment. Members will pay a fee of around £44.95 per month to receive a monthly 50-minute massage or £54.95 for a “no-contract” membership.
The first site opened in Camberley, Surrey and has 14 treatment rooms over two floors. It is on the edge of the town centre, below a Travelodge. Thompson said further sites will be in similar accessible locations or potentially within shopping centres, with the ideal site spanning around 3,000sq ft.
The Camberley salon is owned by TMC but Thompson said further sites were likely to be franchises. “We need six months’ trading before we franchise so could potentially open the second before the end of the year, but it’s likely to be early 2017,” he said. “Based on our knowledge of the franchise sector we then plan to double in size every year.”
The salons will offer four treatments: deep tissue, sports, Swedish and maternity massage, with the potential to upsell to add-ons of hot stone, aromatherapy, scalp or foot massage.
TMC has partnered with Ellisons for massage beds, Premier Software for its membership programme, BC Softwear on towels and 4Leisure Recruitment for staff. “We’re recruiting massage therapists not beauty therapists because in most spas the problem is that every client wants massage but the therapists don’t want to do it,” said Thompson. To avoid repetitive strain injury, therapists can choose their own hours to match their personal limits (four, six, or eight a day) and will be trained to avoid injury via a programme written by massage expert John Holman.