The UK spa market has grown to be worth over £5 billion, with the majority of the value coming from salon treatments. Alongside the service element, the channel offers lucrative benefits to beauty and grooming product brands that opt to partner in this space.

Valuable customer base
While only 6% of UK beauty consumers purchase products via spas and salons, these comprise the most highly engaged and loyal customers, who are willing to spend. The channel gives brands the unique opportunity to directly and positively access end consumers for a period of time, as such, building a strong relationship and driving engagement and advocacy.

Entry and Authority
Spas provide the ideal context for new brands to gain a physical retail presence and build credibility. Those purchasing beauty and grooming products seek trusted brands, and a strong spa association can provide a point of differentiation and support entry to other channels. Aromatherapy Associates, for example, launched in the UK in 1985 through the spa channel and now partners with multiple spas worldwide alongside other retail channels. Additionally, the brand’s reputation as a premium spa product has served it well to enter into ‘non-traditional’ channels such as the first class service at British Airways.

Sampling and Product
Treatments enable consumers to sample premium products endorsed by health and beauty experts, thereby providing them with trust and validation of their choice. If product benefits are promoted and purchase is encouraged, spas can effectively encourage upsell. Clinique’s Great Skin Lab pop- up last year capitalised on this dynamic, enabling customers to embark on an experiential journey, assessing their skin type through a personalised skin consultation and the offer of complimentary samples.

The growing ‘wellness’ trend across broad demographics supports the strong prospects of the spa sector. The rise of more affordable and express treatments such as The Light Salon at Harvey Nichols (seen above), offering an 11 minute LED light facial at a cost of £35 (along with the likes of FaceGym, and the anticipated Skin Laundry rumoured to be opening in the UK soon) are making the spa market more accessible, and driving increased footfall, as average spend and treatment times decrease. We are excited by the ample opportunities for beauty and grooming brands to play in the spa channel, presenting a highly effective way to get relevant products in front of engaged consumers.

Jodie Hayes