US spas set sights on attracting men

41% of spas in the US want to boost their male clientele and recognise the need for targeted efforts to bring them through the doors.

The findings come from ISPA’s 2018 US Spa Industry Study, released at its annual conference and expo on 24-26 September. In research undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the year 2017, the US spa market appeared to perform healthily, with key figures all up on the previous year.

Average revenues per spa establishment exceeded $800,000 for the year, with revenues per visit up 2.7% to $93.7.

Spa visits increased by 1.6% to 187 million at end of 2017, and the number of spa locations (categorised into club, day, destination, medical, mineral springs and resort/hotel) were up 2.4% to 21,770.

By May 2018, the total number of employees across all spa establishments was at 372,100, a 1.9% increase on the previous year. Only 4% of spa businesses reported a net loss, compared with 7% in 2016. Excluding the resort/hotel sector, profitability improved from 2016 to 2017 – 70% of spas reported a profit percentage of 10% or more.

47% of resort/hotel spas reported a profit percentage exceeding 20% for 2017, while 32% said profit percentage in the range of 15.1% to 25%.

When asked at the time about their plans for the coming year, almost all (99%) said they were planning on making improvements to their business in 2018.

As well as wanting to introduce initiatives to attract more men into the spa, 60% intended to introduce new treatment offerings, 45% said new product lines were on the agenda, and 28% wanted to develop a new spa menu altogether. A third said they intended to create new jobs, though 40% of those surveyed said a lack of qualified and experienced talent was by far the biggest staffing issue they faced, with industry growth outpacing the number of suitable prospective employees.

The report also collected figures on numbers of different types of spa businesses in the country to gain a wider picture of the industry. A huge 79.6% of spas in the US (17,330) were day spas, followed by resort/hotel at 8.6% (1,880) and medical spas accounting for 8.2% (1,780).

Last year there were just 90 destination spas and 50 mineral springs establishments.

Florida is set for a new resort spa this autumn when Auberge Beach Residences & Spa Fort Lauderdale opens.